The Show Me State

The Original

The elements to the flag include

  • Fesses (three horizontal stripes) in red, white, and blue

  • State coat of arms

  • 24 stars

  • Two grizzly bears

  • Scroll “Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto” (state motto)

  • Shield

  • “United We Stand, Divided We Fall” 

  • US coat of arms

  • Grizzly bear

  • Crescent moon

  • Helmet

  • 23 stars in cloud


The flag of Missouri was adapted March 22, 1913.

In the 2001 North American Vexillology Association survey of the 72 American and Canadian flags the Missouri flag was ranked 48th.

Keep it simple: The coat of arms is extremely complicated, however, the background is simple and powerful.

Use meaningful symbolism: The three stripes in the field are symbolic. The red represents bravery, the white purity, and the blue justice. The 24 stars on the outside of the coat of arms is symbolic of Missouri being the 24th state in the Union. The two grizzly bears outside the shield represent courage and strength. The text around the shield “United we stand, divided we fall” shows the connection that Missouri has with its motherland. The crescent moon in the shield is signs of the early settlers of Missouri who used the crescent moon to represent themselves. It is symbolic of the “second son” meaning that Missouri was the second state made from the Louisiana purchase. The 23 stars in a cloud represent the troubles it took for Missouri to become the 24th state.

Use two or three basic colors: In this flag we see eleven colors being used.

No lettering or seals: This flag does have the coat of arms on it. 

Be distinctive or be related: As far as seals on a state flag, this flag is distinct because of the use of the colored fesses. 

The Redesign

Keep it simple: I took elements of the original flag and simplified it. I made the coat of arms a crescent moon as I felt it was a simple way to powerfully represent the state.

Use meaningful symbolism: I loved the meaning behind the colors of the fesses. I decieded to use the cresent instead of the coat of arms. When the state was originally created, it was the crescent moon they used to represent themselves. It was to show how something that started small could grow and become prosperous.

Use two or three basic colors: In this flag we see three colors being used.

No lettering or seals: I have taken out the coat of arms and there is no lettering.

Be distinctive or be related: This flag is distinct.