Montana became a state on November 8, 1889. But did you know the state did not come up with an official state flag for 16-years?

Montana did not come up with an official flag until 1905 after the Ninth Legislative Assembly in Montana approved one.  The idea for the first state flag actually came from colonel kessler who made a flag that was carried into battle by the first Montana Infantry during the Spanish-American war in 1898.

After the war was over,  Colonel Kessler returned to the state and presented the flag to the governor for display.  After Montanans saw the flag,  it grew in stature and in 1905 it became the official state flag.  The 1st Montana Infantry was taken off the top of the flag and the word Montana was put in its place.

First flag
First state flag picture from Secretary of state.


First ever Montana State Flag.

The flag stayed  the same until 1981 when the state legislature passed a bill requiring that the word, "MONTANA" be in roman letters and positioned above the state seal.  The state seal also went through some changes as they added a brighter gold sky with white clouds.  They also added blue and white to the water in the seal.  Then in 1985 the flag underwent one more minor change.  The word "MONTANA" became more defined by changing to Helvetica bold.  This is a type of font that is still used today.

Did you know Great Falls is a part of the state seal?  The waterfalls of the Missouri River are on the seal.

The original flag carried by the Montana infantry during the Spanish-American war in the Philippines is still around and is preserved by the Historical Society of Montana.  The flag is a little tattered and torn but the seal still looks incredible mainly because it was hand-embroidered into a heavy tapestry.

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