Connecticut State Flag History

Sep 11th, 2016

Connecticut became the 5th of the original 13 colonies admitted to the Union on January 9, 1788. It did not adopt an official state flag until 1897.


Connecticut Flag


The flag was designed based on the Saybrook Colony seal. Saybrook was purchased by the Connecticut Colony in 1644 and its seal transferred with it. The seal featured 15 grape vines and a half in the top left corner holding a scroll that read “Sustinet qui transtulit”.


Conn Seal


In 1711 the legislature amended the seal by reducing the number of grapevines to three and rearranged the position and the wording of the motto. The three grape vines symbolize Hartford, Wethersfield and Windsor; the first three Connecticut, European founded towns. It is also said to represent Connecticut, New Haven and Saybrook; the first three colonies. Two of those colonies were absorbed by Connecticut. The seal was used as an unofficial state flag until 1897.


Conn Second Seal


In 1895, the governor, Owen Vincent Coffin, introduced a proposal to the General Assembly to adopt a state flag. In response, a resolution that appointed a special committee to review the matter was passed.


It was not until 1897 that the flag design was officially adopted. The General Assembly described it as having an azure blue silk field featuring a white silk shield with natural colors in its design. The shield border was to be embroidered in gold and silver. A white streamer containing the words “Qui Transtulit Sustinet” was to be placed below the shield and bordered with browns and golds. The flag size was dictated as five feet, six inches long and four feet, four inches wide.


The North American Vexillological Association conducted a survey in 2001. Of the 72 Canadian provincial and U.S. states and territories, Connecticut’s flag ranked 50th.


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