Illinois State Flag

The current design of the flag was adopted in 1970.
The current design of the flag was adopted in 1970.

The flag of Illinois State is a white banner with the seal of Illinois and the state name in blue under it in the middle of the banner. The seal of Illinois State consists of a rock inscribed with the years 1868 and 1818. Perched on the rock is an eagle, which holds in its foot a shield resembling the American flag, with 13 red and white stripes at the bottom, topped by 13 white stars on a blue background. In its beak, the eagle holds a red banner on which is written ‘State Sovereignty, National Union.’ The flag was officially accepted in 1915 and had a revised design bearing the state name in 1970.

History of the Flag

Ella Park Lawrence, of the Rockford chapter of Daughters of American Revolution, began agitating for a state flag in 1912. On April 1, 1914, Lawrence informed all chapters of the Illinois branch of Daughters of American Revolution about the need to have a state flag, and there were 35 proposed designs. The Illinois state secretary Lewis Stevenson led a panel to pick the best design. Lucy Derwent’s design won and was officially adopted on July 6, 1915. Bruce McDaniel, a non-commissioned officer of the navy, raised a petition to have the state name Illinois incorporated to the original flag design in the 1960s. The petition was approved on September 17, 1969, and Mrs. Sanford Hutchinson was to design the new flag. On July 1, 1970, Hutchinson’s design, which is the present flag, became the official flag.

State Seal

The Illinois state seal was first adopted in 1819, and was redesigned in 1839 to the second seal. In 1867, Sharon Tyndale, the state secretary, campaigned to have a third seal of the state with the words of the state motto altered to, ‘National Unity, State Sovereignty.’ The request to interchange the motto was declined but Tyndale was tasked in designing the new seal.

Meaning of the Flag

The seal of Illinois State was embraced in 1918. The banner in the Eagles beak has the state’s motto. The two dates on the rock in the seal stand for 1818 when Illinois became a state and 1868 the year the seal was redesigned. The 13 stars and red and white stripes in the seal carried by the eagle symbolize the 13 states that were in the union before Illinois joined. The colors in the shield are the same colors contained in the US flag.


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