Flag of Minnesota

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Flag of Minnesota.svg
Use Civil and state flag
Adopted August 2, 1983
Design State seal on a medium blue field
Designed by Pauline Gerhardin Fjelde

The flag of the State of Minnesota consists of a medium blue field charged with the state seal. The current flag was adopted in 1957 and the state seal on the flag was modified in 1983.


FIAV historical.svg A former Minnesotan flag, used from 1893 to 1957.
FIAV historical.svg A former Minnesotan flag, used from 1957 to 1983.
The Minnesotan flag flying underneath the American flag.

The first state flag of Minnesota was adopted in 1893; at that time a prototype flag was commissioned from the local embroiderer Pauline Gerhardin Fjelde, which won a gold medal at the Chicago World's Fair.[1]

1893 flag[edit]

The 1893 flag, designed by the Amelia Hyde Center of Minneapolis,[2] was white on one side and light blue on the other. In the center was the state seal wreathed with white moccasin flowers, on a blue field. A red ribbon in the seal bore a motto, L'Étoile du Nord (French for "The North Star"). The years 1819 (establishment of Fort Snelling), 1858 (statehood), and 1893 (adoption of the flag) appeared in gold around the state seal. "Minnesota" was written under the state seal in gold and 19 gold stars arranged in clusters to form the points of a star, representing the fact that Minnesota was the 19th state added after the original 13 states. 87 circles around the seal represent Minnesota's 87 counties.

1957 flag[edit]

The flag was redesigned in 1957, eliminating the different-colored sides in favor of a blue field on both sides. This made the flag less expensive to manufacture and also more durable in high winds.[2] This opportunity was used to correct an error of the flowers used on the seal; instead of a Pink and White Lady's Slipper, the 1893 flag showed a variant that was not native to the state.[3]

Official statute[edit]

The law creating the 1957 state flag is located in Chapter 1 of the Official State Statutes. The chapter covers state symbols, sovereignty and other general issues. The location of the flag in the statutes is Section 1.141. The statute also requires the Secretary of State to keep a photograph of the official state flag and samples so they can be used by the public to make copies.[4] In Minnesota, desecration of the state flag is a misdemeanor offense under State Statute 609.40.


The Minnesota flag has come under increasing criticism both for its poor design and its image in the seal of a farmer watching a Native American in the background, symbolizing Manifest Destiny and the inevitability of land being procured by white settlers.[5] On several occasions, bills have been introduced in the Minnesota Legislature to establish a legislative task force for studying changes to the flag,[6] and several alternative flag designs, have been put forth and widely endorsed by state politicians and newspapers.[7]

In 2001, the Minnesota flag was chosen as one of the ten worst flag designs in an online poll conducted by the North American Vexillogical Association.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ MN Territorial Pioneers, Inc. "Flag of the State of Minnesota". Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  2. ^ a b State Symbols (Minnesota House of Representatives Information Service)[1]
  3. ^ "The State Flag of Minnesota". Minnesota State Mankato. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  4. ^ "1.141 OFFICIAL STATE FLAG". State of Minnesota. 2006. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  5. ^ "Native Americans and State Flag Designs". Marcel Stratton, Assoc. Prof. Emeritus in Art; Minnesota State University Moorhead. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  6. ^ "SF3201". 2001.  "HF3974". 2006.  "HF1385". 2007. 
  7. ^ "The North Star Flag, a proposal for a new Minnesota state flag". 

External links[edit]