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North Dakota State FlagNorth Dakota State Flag

Adopted on January 21, 1911.

The design for the flag of the state of North Dakota is an almost exact copy of the unit banner carried by the state's troop contingent in the Philippine-American War. It was adopted by the North Dakota Legislative Assembly on March 3, 1911, although the color was not precisely specified at that time. Legislation in 1943 brought the flag in line with the original troop banner, which is on display at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck. The flag also resembles the Great Seal of the United States.

The North Dakota State Flag

On January 21, 1911, Representative Colonel John H. Fraine introduced H.B. No. 152 designating an official flag for the state of North Dakota (1911 S.L., ch. 283).

The legislation specifically required that the flag conform to the color, form, and size of the regimental flag carried by the North Dakota Infantry in the Spanish-American War in 1898 and Philippine Island Insurrection in 1899; the only exception was the name North Dakota placed on the scroll below the eagle. On March 3, 1911, the Legislative Assembly adopted the North Dakota Flag. North Dakota Century Code Section 54-02-02 describes the state flag in detail.

In 1951 S.B. No. 156 established the North Dakota State Flag Commission to consider changes to the flag (1951 S.L., ch.303). The commission concluded the flag "too closely resembled the coat of arms of the United States and that the flag was not symbolic of North Dakota." The commission's conclusions were widely challenged and its suggested changes rejected. S.B. No. 265 was introduced during the 1953 session and contained the recommendation of the flag commission. That legislation was defeated.

North Dakota's dark blue field displays a bald eagle holding an olive branch and a bundle of arrows in its claws. In its beak, the eagle carries a ribbon with the words " One nation made up of many states". The shield on its breast has thirteen stars, representing the original thirteen states. The fan shaped design above the eagle represents the birth of a new nation, the United States. The name "North Dakota" appears on a red scroll below the eagle.

North Dakota Flag Law

2007 North Dakota Century Code, Title 54, Chapter 54-02.

Title 54 State Government

54-02-02. State flag.

The flag of North Dakota must consist of a field of blue silk or material which will withstand the elements four feet four inches [132.08 centimeters] on the pike and five feet six inches [167.64 centimeters] on the fly, with a border of knotted yellow fringe two and one-half inches [6.35 centimeters] wide. On each side of said flag in the center thereof, must be embroidered or stamped an eagle with outspread wings and with opened beak. The eagle must be three feet four inches [101.6 centimeters] from tip to tip of wing, and one foot ten inches [55.88 centimeters] from top of head to bottom of olive branch hereinafter described. The left foot of the eagle shall grasp a sheaf of arrows, the right foot shall grasp an olive branch showing three red berries. On the breast of the eagle must be displayed a shield, the lower part showing seven red and six white stripes placed alternately. Through the open beak of the eagle must pass a scroll bearing the words "E Pluribus Unum". Beneath the eagle there must be a scroll on which must be borne the words "North Dakota". Over the scroll carried through the eagle's beak must be shown thirteen five-pointed stars, the whole device being surmounted by a sunburst. The flag must conform in all respects as to color, form, size, and device with the regimental flag carried by the First North Dakota Infantry in the Spanish American War and Philippine Insurrection, except in the words shown on the scroll below the eagle.

State Flags
State Flags
The flags of the US states exhibit a wide variety of regional influences and local histories, as well as widely different styles and design principles.
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