Commemorative issue State flags - American Bicentennial
Shown is the state flag of Minnesota, part of a pane of stamps showing the flags of each of the 50 states.
The first flag of the state of Minnesota was adopted in 1893; at that time a prototype flag was commissioned from the local embroiderer Pauline Fjelde, which won a gold medal at the Chicago World's Fair.
The 1893 flag, designed by the Amelia Hyde Center of Minneapolis, was white on one side and light blue on the other. In the center was the state seal wreathed with white moccasin flowers, on a blue field. A red ribbon in the seal bore a motto, L'étoile du nord (French for "The North Star"). The years 1819 (establishment of Fort Snelling), 1858 (statehood), and 1893 (adoption of the first state flag) appeared in gold around the state seal. "Minnesota" was written under the state seal in gold and 19 gold stars arranged in clusters to form the points of a star, representing the fact that Minnesota was the 19th state added after the original 13 states. 87 circles around the seal represent Minnesota's 87 counties.
The flag was redesigned in 1957, eliminating the different-colored sides in favor of a blue field on both sides. This made the flag less expensive to manufacture and also more durable in high winds. This opportunity was used to correct an error of the flowers used on the seal; instead of a Pink and White Lady's Slipper, the 1893 flag showed a variant that was not native to the state.