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Michigan State FlagMichigan State Flag

Adopted in 1957.

The Flag of the State of Michigan depicts the state's coat-of-arms on a dark blue field, as set forth by Michigan state law. (The Governor has a variant of the flag with a white instead of blue field.

The present flag, adopted in 1911, is the third state flag. The first flag featured a portrait of Michigan's first governor, Stevens T. Mason, on one side and the state coat of arms and "a soldier and a lady" on the other side. The second flag, adopted in 1865, displayed the state coat of arms on one side and the United States coat of arms on the other.

The Michigan State Flag

The present flag--Michigan's third since becoming a state in 1837--was adopted by Public Act 209 of 1911. The state's first flag featured on one side a portrait of Michigan's first governor, Stevens T. Mason. On the other side was the state coat of arms and "a soldier and a lady." In 1865, the state flag changed to display the state coat of arms on one side and the United States coat of arms on the other side. Today the design on Michigan's deep blue field has three mottoes:

  • On a red ribbon - "One Nation Made Up of Many States"
  • On a blue shield - "I will Defend"
  • On a white ribbon - "If You Seek a Pleasant Peninsula, Look Around"

On the blue shield the sun rises over a lake and peninsula, a man with raised hand and holding a gun represents peace and the ability to defend his rights. The elk and moose are symbols of Michigan, while the eagle represents the United States.

Pledge of Allegiance

Michigan's pledge of allegiance to the state flag was written by Harold G. Coburn and was officially adopted as Public Act 165 of 1972.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of Michigan, and to the state for which it stands, two beautiful peninsulas united by a bridge of steel, where equal opportunity and justice to all is our ideal.

Michigan Compiled Laws

Michigan Compiled Laws, Chapter 2


2.21 State coat-of-arms; adoption.

Sec. 1.

The device and inscriptions of the great seal of the state of Michigan, Anno Domini 1835, presented by Lewis Cass to the forthcoming state, through the constitutional convention and adopted June 2, 1835, and filed with the secretary of the territory, June 24, 1835, and illustrated by a seal with said device and inscriptions attached to a state document, bearing date 1838, and to the constitution of 1850 received and filed in the office of the secretary of state, August 15, 1850, and now on file in said office, omitting the legend "The great seal of the state of Michigan, Anno Domini 1835,"is hereby adopted as the coat-of-arms of the state.

History: 1911, Act 209, Eff. Aug. 1, 1911 ;-- CL 1915, 1098 ;-- CL 1929, 134 ;-- CL 1948, 2.21
Compiler's Notes: For constitutional provision as to great seal of the state of Michigan referred to in this section, see now Const. 1963, Art. III, § 3.

2.22 State coat-of-arms; emblazonment.

Sec. 2.

The coat-of-arms shall be blazoned as follows:

Chief, Azure, motto argent Tuebor;

Charge, Azure, sun-rayed rising sinister proper, lake wavey proper, peninsula dexter grassy proper, man dexter on peninsula, rustic, habited, dexter arm-raised, dexter turned, sinister arm with gun stock resting, all proper;

Crest, On a wreath azure and or, an American eagle rising to the dexter, tips of wings partly lowered to base, all proper, dexter talon holding an olive branch with 13 fruit, sinister talon holding a sheaf of 3 arrows, all proper. Over his head a sky azure environed with a scroll gules with the motto "E Pluribus Unum"argent;


Dexter, An elk rampant, proper;

Sinister, A moose rampant, proper;

Mottoes, On the scroll unending superior narrow argent, in sable, the motto, "Si quaeris peninsulam, amoenam."

On the scroll unending inferior, broader argent in sable the motto "circumspice."


Scroll support and conventional leaf design between shield and scroll superior or;

Escutcheon supporters rest on the scroll supports and leaf design.

2.23 State flag.

Sec. 3.
The state flag shall be blue charged with the arms of the state.

History: 1911, Act 209, Eff. Aug. 1, 1911 ;-- CL 1915, 1100 ;-- CL 1929, 136 ;-- CL 1948, 2.23

2.27 United States flag, state flag; display, expense payment.

Sec. 7.
The flag of the United States and the state flag bearing the arms of the state, shall be displayed upon the capitol building during the daily sessions of the legislature and of the supreme court, and on public occasions. The board of state auditors shall see that the flags are so displayed and that the necessary flag staffs shall be placed and flags supplied. The expense thereof shall be allowed by them and paid by the state treasurer upon proper warrant.

History: 1911, Act 209, Eff. Aug. 1, 1911 ;-- CL 1915, 1104 ;-- CL 1929, 140 ;-- CL 1948, 2.27

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