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General background about the Minnesota Flag

Minnesota Flag     Minnesota Great Seal


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Minnesota's state flag consists of a medium blue field charged with the state seal. Contained within the state seal lies an inner circle surrounded by 19 five pointed stars representing Minnesota as the 19th state, after the original 13 colonies, to join the union. The current flag was adopted in 1957 and the state seal on the flag was modified in 1983.

  • MOTTO: "The Star of the North"
  • ENTERED UNION: May 11, 1858
  • FLAG ADOPTED: 1839, (Revised 1957), (Revised to Current Design Aug. 2, 1983)
  • COMMENTS: 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.


Minnesota formally adopted the French phrase "L'Etoile du nord" (The Star of the North) as the official state motto in 1861. The motto also appears on the state seal, and thus on the state flag. In 1893, the Minnesota State Legislature commissioned the design of an official state flag for display at an exhibit at the fairgrounds in Chicago at the World’s Columbian Exposition. The 1893 flag, designed by the Amelia Hyde Center of Minneapolis, 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.

The flag was redesigned in 1957, eliminating the different-colored sides in favor of a blue field on both sides. This redesign offered the opportunity to correct an error of the flowers used on the seal in the previous design. Instead of a Pink and White Lady's Slipper, the 1893 flag showed a variant that was not native to the state. The flag was again revised in 1983 with a newly designed state seal. This version is still in use today.


Minnesota Flag
State Flag, Minnesota

Minnesota Flag Original
First Flag: 1893 to 1957
Minnesota Flag Second
Second Flag: 1957 to 1983


  • The first cellophane tape was produced by Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (3M) Company in 1932.
  • In-line skates were invented by two Minnesota students. Looking for a way to practice hockey in the summer, they replaced the blades on their skates with wheels.
  • The opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959 connected the Port of Duluth and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The world's first open-heart operation was performed at the University of Minnesota in 1952, and Rochester is home to the world-famous Mayo Clinic.
  • Minnesota's total shoreline adds up to 90,000 miles, more than California, Florida and Hawaii combined.
  • During a baseball broadcast, Minnesotan baseball commentator Halsey Hal is credited to be the first person to say "Holy Cow" during a baseball broadcast.


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