Flag of Wisconsin

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Flag of Wisconsin
UseCivil and state flag
AdoptedMay 1, 1981; 39 years ago (1981-05-01) [1]
DesignBlue flag charged with the Wisconsin coat of arms.

The flag of the State of Wisconsin is a blue flag charged with the state coat of arms of Wisconsin.


Wisconsin state flag from 1866 to 1913.
Wisconsin state flag from 1913 to 1981.


Originally designed in 1866 when regiments from Wisconsin wanted a flag for battlefield use, in 1913, state statutes specified the design of the state flag.[2]


In 1941, Carl R. Eklund reported that he raised the state flag over Antarctica, at the behest of Wisconsin Governor Julius P. Heil, about 500 miles north of the south pole and 620 miles into a previously unexplored area.[3] In 1958, Eklund flew another flag over Antarctica which he presented for display in a state museum.[4]


In 1953, state assemblyman William N. Belter of Wautoma criticized the flag as too costly because of the details.[5]


In 1973, when the state senate was attempting to add the word Wisconsin to the flag, it was criticized as already too cluttered.[6]

Unofficial variant flag used briefly in 1975, featuring the state seal.

In 1975, some state flags were being sold that improperly had the state seal on them instead of the state coat of arms. Wisconsin Secretary of State Douglas J. La Follette noted that the correct state flag did not have the banner of thirteen stars at the bottom.[7]


In order to distinguish it from the many other blue U.S. state flags, Wisconsin's flag was modified in 1979 to add "Wisconsin" and "1848", the year Wisconsin was admitted to the Union.[8] All Wisconsin state flags manufactured after May 1, 1981, were required to use this design.[1]


The state flag flies in front of the state capitol

The flag field is navy blue with the Wisconsin coat of arms in the center, and the words "Wisconsin" and "1848" above and below the seal in a bold white. On the top of the coat of arms, there is a badger, and the state motto "Forward". In the center, on the shield, there is a plow to represent farming, a pick and shovel to represent mining, an arm and hammer representing manufacturing, and an anchor representing navigation. In the center of the shield is the United States coat of arms. The shield is supported by a sailor and a miner, both representing labour on land and on water. On the bottom there is a cornucopia, representing prosperity, and there are 13 lead ingots representing both mineral wealth and the original 13 colonies of the United States.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b State of Wisconsin. "286". Section: 1.08: State flag. Laws of 1979. Retrieved August 21, 2015. The department of administration shall ensure that all official state flags that are manufactured on or after May 1, 1981 conform to the requirements of this section. State flags manufactured before May 1, 1981 may continue to be used as state flags.
  2. ^ Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. State of Wisconsin 2007-2008 Blue Book. Madison: Wisconsin Legislature Joint Committee on Legislative Organization, 2007, p. 963.
  3. ^ "Antarctic Explorer Returns to State; Reports to Heil". Milwaukee Sentinel. August 31, 1941. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  4. ^ "Badger Flag back Home". Milwaukee Sentinel. June 3, 1958. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  5. ^ "New State Flag is Urged; Present One 'Too Costly'". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. July 29, 1973. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  6. ^ "On Wisconsin, our cluttered state flag needs to be simplified". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. July 29, 1973. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  7. ^ "Flag Flap; If Seal's on Your Flag, It's Wrong". The Milwaukee Journal. July 10, 1975. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  8. ^ Environmental Education for Kids! - Wisconsin's State Flag

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