Flags

What do the symbols on Missouri's flag stand for?

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June 10, 2009 3:49PM

The Oliver flag embraced national pride, and at the same time

expressed characteristics of Missouri and Missourians. The three

large stripes were symbolic of the people of the state-the blue

stripe represented vigilance, permanency, and justice, the red

represented valor, and the white stripe symbolized purity. The

Missouri coat-of-arms appeared in the center of the flag,

signifying both Missouri's independence as a state, and its place

as a part of the whole United States. Having the coat-of-arms in

the center of the national colors represents Missouri, as it is-the

geographical center of the nation. By mingling the state

coat-of-arms with the national colors of red, white, and blue, the

flag signified the harmony existing between the two. Twenty-four

stars surrounded the coat-of-arms, representative of Missouri's

position as the 24th state admitted to the Union. The Great Seal of

the State of Missouri, the basis of the coat-ofarms, has many

special meanings of its own. Robert Wells, who was a lawyer, state

legislator and a judge, designed it. The seal shows, by its helmet

and buckled belt, that although Missouri is a strong state, it

wants to be free to handle its own problems. The grizzly bears

signify the size and strength of the state and the courage of

Missourians. The new crescent moon was included to remind us that

we can make our future better; it was also a special heraldic

symbol pointing out that Missouri was the second state formed out

of the Louisiana Purchase. The larger star, rising into a group of

23 stars, was to remind people that Missouri became the 24th state

only after solving many difficult problems. The helmet was designed

to show the power of the people of the state. Finally, there are

two mottoes. "United We Stand, Divided We Fall" tells us how

important it is to support the whole United States. "Salus populi

suprema lex esto" is Latin which means, "Let the welfare of the

people be the supreme law." That reminds us our state government

functions to help better our lives. (Source: Missouri Secretary of

State website)


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