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General background about the North Dakota Flag

North Dakota Flag     North Dakota Great Seal


  Devils Lake
  Grand Forks
  Valley City
  West Fargo

North Dakota's state flag consists of a red banner displaying the state's name. Rising above the banner is a Bald Eagle which is grasping an olive branch and a bundle of arrows in its claws. Protecting the bird's breast is a traditional shield consisting of a blue field and thirteen red and white stripes that reference the original colonies. In its beak the eagle holds a red ribbon with the words "E Pluribus Unum". Above the eagle are thirteen gold stars and the golden rays of the sun, signifying a tribute to the birth of a new nation.

  • MOTTO: "Liberty and Union, Now and Forever, One and Inseparable"
  • ENTERED UNION: Nov. 2, 1889
  • FLAG ADOPTED: March 3, 1911, (Revised/Clarification of flag colors 1943)
  • COMMENTS: The flag is a near exact copy of the unit-banner carried by the state's troop contingent in the Philippine-American War.


The state flag of North Dakota was adopted in 1911, the same year that Colorado adopted its state flag. And, as in Colorado, the appearance of North Dakota's flag has not changed since its inception. In 1953, a bill to alter the flag was presented and defeated before the state legislature. One argument for change was that the flag too closely resembled the coat-of-arms of the United States; another argument was the flag does not really represent the state. Aside from the name at the bottom of the flag, what is there in its design that reflects the state of North Dakota? It remains to be seen if North Dakota will ever revise the design of its state flag.


North Dakota Flag
State Flag, North Dakota




  • Sunflowers grow as tall as 13 feet in North Dakota.
  • Each year a demolition derby using farm combines is held at the State Fair in Minot.
  • Devils Lake, the largest natural body of water in North Dakota, is known among fishermen as the Perch Capital of the World.
  • More waterfowl hatch in the many prairie kettle hole and sloughs of North Dakota than in any other state.
  • A bronze statue of Sakakawea and her baby son Jean Baptiste stands at the entrance to the North Dakota Heritage Center on the grounds of the state capitol in Bismark.
  • Explorers William Clark and Meriwether Lewis and the Corps of Discovery spent more time in what is now North Dakota than any other place on their journey.


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