by Stacey Patrick
The Illinois Flag was originally designed by Lucy Derwint in 1912, and it consists of a very simple yet straightforward design. The background of the flag is solid white, and placed directly in the center, just as with many other state flags, sits the Great Seal of Illinois.
The Illinois Flag was designed in the year 1912; however, it did not actually become the official state flag until a few years later in 1915. The flag was originally created in response to a contest held by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The contest was intended, of course, to have participants create potential designs for the Illinois Flag, a state that up until that time did not officially have its own banner.
The Great Seal of Illinois, which is emblazoned upon the flag, features an eagle perched upon a rock holding a banner with the words “State Sovereignty” and “National Union”. The words “State Sovereignty” are placed below “National Union”, and interestingly enough, the word “Sovereignty” is intentionally written backwards, making it more difficult to read. Below the eagle on the seal sit the words “Aug. 26th 1818”, which marks the day that the first constitution was adopted in the state.
The eagle is perched upon a grey rock, and on the rock appear two very important dates in Illinois history. The years “1818” and “1868” are displayed on the rock. In 1818, Illinois officially became a state, while 1868 marks the year that the Great Seal of Illinois was originally created. The name of the state, “ILLINOIS” sits directly beneath the Great Seal of Illinois on the flag. The flag of Illinois was finally passed through the House and Senate of Illinois on July 6, 1915.