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Maine (U.S.)

State of Maine

Last modified: 2002-09-28 by rick wyatt
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[Legal Flag of Maine]
Official Maine State Flag on Land since 1909
by Dave Martucci, 6 September 1996

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In 1820, two stars were added, representing Alabama and Maine, bringing the total number of stars on the U.S. flag to 23. There were thirteen stripes representing the thirteen original colonies.

Official Flag of the State of Maine

On February 23rd, 1909, the 74th Maine Legislature passed the following law:

    Section 1. The flag to be known as the official flag of the State of Maine shall be of blue, same color as the blue field in the flag of the United States, and of the following dimensions and design; to wit, the length, or height, of the staff to be nine feet including brass spear-head and ferrule; the fly of said flag to be five feet six inches, and to be four feet four inches on the staff; in the center of the flag there shall be embroidered in silk the same on both sides of the flag, the coat of arms of the State of Maine, in proportionate size; the edges to be trimmed with knotted fringe of yellow silk, two and one-half inches wide; a cord, with tassels, to be attached to the staff at the spearhead, to be eight feet six inches long and composed of white and blue strands.

    Section 2. The flag of the State of Maine to be carried by the regiments of the National Guard of Maine shall be the same as the flag described in the first section of this Act, with the addition of two scrolls in red, one above and one below the coat of arms of the State; in the upper scroll the inscription '___ Regiment Infantry,' and in the lower scroll the inscription 'National Guard State of Maine.'

    Section 3. The Adjutant General of the State of Maine is hereby directed to provide a flag, in accordance with the description given in the first section of this Act, and keep the same deposited in the office of the Adjutant General, as a model; and for this purpose the sum of two hundred dollars, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated, out of any moneys in the State Treasury not otherwise appropriated.

    Section 4. Chapter 233, An Act to establish a State Flag, approved March 21, 1901, and all acts or parts of Acts inconsistent with the provisions of this Act be and the same are hereby repealed."
Note that the military flag was modified in 1954 by the deletion of the top scroll and a change in the wording on the bottom scroll to "Maine National Guard." In addition, the governor, as Commander- in-Chief uses a 3'x 5' indoor State of Maine with fringe, on a staff as his rank flag. The earliest known State of Maine Militia Flags were white with the shield of Arms in the center.
by Dave Martucci 6 September 1996

Maine Flag as Commonly Used

[Common Flag of Maine] by Graham Bartram, 24 February 1998

The Maine State Flag as defined by law does not exist. There are no examples of the flag that correspond to the written description of it found in the Maine Statutes. Even the Adjutant General's Model Flag doesn't correspond: it is not made of silk, does not have the silk fringe and cord and tassel made of silk, is not embroidered, and it bears the common usage Coat of Arms rather than the Official Coat of Arms as adopted in 1820. (The commonly used arms were drawn in 1919 supposedly by the book illustrator Henry Gibson.)

There are no official colors for the arms, so there are considerable variations in flags as used. Particularly in the coloring of the forest scene on the shield. The Model State Flag shows purple trees behind the White Pine Tree on the shield. Other known examples show the trees as yellow, pink, red, orange, and even green!

Typically, the Flag as commonly used is 3 by 5 feet or 2 by 3 feet in size, screen printed nylon with the common version of the arms in the center. It is not fringed, not mounted on a 9 foot pole and does not have the cord and tassel attached to it.
Dave Martucci, 6 September 1996

State Seal

Maine Revised Statutes
Title 1 Section 201. State seal. The seal of the State shall be a shield, argent, charged with a pine tree (Americana, quinis ex uno folliculo setis) with a moose deer (cervus alces), at the foot of it, recumbent; supporters: on dexter side, a husbandman, resting on a scythe; on sinister side, a seaman, resting on an anchor. In the foreground, representing sea and land, and under the shield, shall be the name of the State in large Roman capitals, to wit: MAINE. The whole shall be surrounded by a crest, the North Star. The motto, in small Roman capitals, shall be in a label interposed between the shield and crest, viz.:--DIRIGO.
Joe McMillan, 13 February 2000

Governor's Flag

I have a letter in my files from the Governor of Maine that he uses a 3x5' Maine State Flag with fringe as his official flag and this custom has been in effect since Governor Curtis proclaimed it in the early 1970s.
Dave Martucci, 27 February 2000

State Military Crest

by Joe McMillan, 21 April 2000

The state military crest, which is the crest used in the coats of arms of units of the National Guard, as granted by the precursor organizations of what is now the Army Institute of Heraldry. The official Institute of Heraldry blazon is "A pine tree proper."
Joe McMillan, 21 April 2000

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