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Barish, Lawrence S.; Theobald, H. Rupert (ed.) / State of Wisconsin Blue Book

Wisconsin state symbols,   pp. [949]-954 PDF (2.2 MB)

Page 950

      (See front and back endpapers)
     The Coat of Arms                                      'T'he Great Seal
  Over the years the Wisconsin Legislature has officially recognized a wide
variety of items as
state symbols. Wisconsin has an official flag, coat of arms, motto, seal,
song, symbol of peace,
tree, flower, grain, beverage, bird, fish, animal, wildlife animal, domestic
animal, dog, insect,
mineral, rock, fossil, and soil. (The "Badger State" nickname,
however, remains unofficial.)
These symbols provide a focus for expanding public awareness of Wisconsin's
history and diver-
sity, particularly when used in classrooms as teaching tools.
  Flag. An official design for Wisconsin's state flag was initially provided
by the legislature in
1863. Noting that a flag had not been adopted and that Civil War regiments
in the field were
requesting flags, the legislature formed a 5-member, joint select committee
to report"....a
description for a proper state flag." This action resulted in the adoption
of 1863 Joint Resolution
4, which provided a design for a state flag that was substantially the same
as the regimental flags
already in use by Wisconsin troops.
  It was not until 1913, however, that language concerning flag specifications
was added to the
Wisconsin Statutes. Chapter 111, Laws of 1913, created a state flag provision
specifying a dark
blue flag with the state coat of arms centered on each side. That provision
has become Section
1.08 of the statutes.
  The 1913 design remained unchanged until the enactment of Chapter 286,
Laws of 1979,
which culminated years of legislative efforts to alter or replace Wisconsin's
flag so it would be
more distinctive and recognizable. The most significant changes made by the
1979 act were add-
ing the word "Wisconsin" and the date "1848" -  the date
of statehood- in white letters,
centered respectively above and below the coat of arms.
  Coat of arms. The coat of arms, described in Section 1.07 of the statutes,
is an integral part of
the state seal and also appears on the state flag. Its history parallels
that of the seal.
  On the coat of arms is a sailor with a coil of rope and a "yeoman"
(usually considered a miner)
with a pick, who jointly represent labor on water and land. These 2 figures
support a quartered

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