flag of Louisiana
The Pelican State
Admitted April 30, 1812

Louisiana has flown many flags in its history, like the flags of Spain, France, and Great Britain. Leading up to and during the American Civil War, it flew four distinct flags including the Confederate battle and national flags.

Its distinct pelican flag was flown during the war, but it was not officially adopted until 1912. Variations were inevitable, many not including the three droplets of blood on the pelican’s chest. In 2006, the flag (and state seal) design was formalized and standardized.

This official version was adopted November 22, 2010.


The Louisiana flag features a field of blue charged with a crest, centered.

The crest depicts a mother pelican with her three chicks in a nest, wounding herself with three drops of blood on her chest.

Upon a white banner below the crest, the state motto, “Union Justice Confidence” is inscribed.

flag of Louisiana


The brown pelican is indigenous to Lousiana, but the symbology is also tied to Europe and Christian tradition. Described as “in her piety,” the pelican became a symbol of the Eucharist, where followers consume the blood of Christ in celebration of his sacrifice.

Pelicans were often observed as stabbing themselves with their bills, giving them a reputation of being attentive, self-sacrificing mothers.

a mother pelican with blood drops on her chest looks over her nest and three babies

Coat of Arms

The pelican has long been a symbol of Lousiana. Prior to the Civil War, the “pelican in her piety” was paired with the words “Justice Union and Confidence.”

After the war, when union and reconstruction were priority, the order was changed to “Union Justice Confidence.”

the Louisiana coat of arms


Louisiana statute specifies the Pantone colors featured on its flag.

Values corresponding to imagery:Blue: field
Yellow: pelican plumage
Orange 1: pelican chicks’s beaks
Orange 2: beaks
Red: blood
Tan 1: nest
Tan 2: nest
Brown 1: nest
Brown 2: mother pelican’s bill, wings, nest
Gray 1: mother pelican
Gray 2: banner, shadows
Black: outlines
PMS 295C
Pantone White
PMS 109C
Orange 1
PMS 716C
Orange 2
PMS 145C
PMS 485C
Tan 1
PMS 721C
Tan 2
PMS 142C
Brown 1
PMS 724C
Brown 2
PMS 497C
Gray 1
PMS Cool Gray 8C
Gray 2
PMS Cool Gray 11C
Pantone Black


The flag has a proportion of 7:11. Within this scale, the crest should be 5.25 units tall and 6 units wide.

construction sheet for the flag of Louisiana

Previous iterations

  • thirteen stripes of alternating blue, white, red, white; a canton of red with a gold star


    Flag raised during the weeks between seceding from the United States and joining the Confederacy.

  • a field of blue with an early rendering of thee pelican emblem


    Flag raised at a similar time, establishing the pelican iconography. It was flown simultaneously with the flags of the Confederacy.

  • 1912-2006

    A variation of the pelican flag with the red droplets of blood missing.

  • current Louisiana flag


    The current flag, following the standards defined by Louisiana statute.