Missouri State Flag History

Aug 6th, 2016

The state of Missouri was the 24th state to be admitted to the Union on August 10, 1821. An official state flag was not considered until 1909 when Marie Elizabeth Oliver, the head of a committee formed by the Daughters of the American Revolution and Senator R.B. Oliver’s wife. Mrs. Oliver designed the proposed flag and a bill was introduced in the Missouri Senate supporting her design.




The General Assembly was also considering a second design that was submitted by Dr. N.R. Holcomb. That flag was not well received. It was felt that it looked too much like the United States national flag and was not a good representation of Missouri as a state.


The Oliver Missouri flag bill was introduced several times over the following three years. It was finally passed, and the flag became the official Missouri state flag on March 22, 1913.


According to the Missouri’s official website, the flag design has the following meanings:


Red Stripe: Valor

White stripe: Purity

Blue Stripe: Justice, vigilance and permanency

Red, White and Blue Stripes Combined: The citizens of the state

Coat of Arms: Missouri’s independence, its status as part of the United States and the harmony between the two, and Missouri itself

24 Stars Surrounding Coat of Arms: Missouri’s position as the 24th state admitted to the Union


The original silk flag that Mrs. Oliver made was kept in the family until 1961 when their son gave it to the State of Missouri. It was displayed publicly until it had deteriorated to the point that it was no longer presentable, and then put in storage. In 1988, elementary students were challenged by Roy Blunt, the Secretary of State, to raise funds so that the flag could be repaired. The students met that challenge and the flag was restored. The flag is currently on display in Jefferson City at the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center.


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