Maine became the 32rd US state on March 15, 1820. Although first visited by Italian explorers John and Sebastian Cabot in 1498, the first English settlers did not arrive until the 1600s. Maine used to be governed by the state of Massachusetts until the Missouri Compromise in 1820, allowing Maine to become a state.
Maine’s state flag was adopted in 1909, 89 years after being admitted to the union. The flag is dark blue with a coat of arms in the center. The coat of arms has two men on opposite sides of aa shield. The men are a farmer and a seaman, who represent the agricultural and maritime industries of Maine. Pictured inside the shield is a moose (the official state animal of Maine because the state has more moose per mile than any other state), a pine tree, grass, a light blue sky, and dark blue water. A yellow star stands atop of the shield which symbolizes the North Star since it was the northernmost state at the time of its entry into the Union, and a red ribbon underneath it reading “Dirigo”, which is Latin for “I direct”. Below the shield and the gentlemen is a blue ribbon reading “Maine”.
Maine is the only state with one syllable in its name and despite being a small state, it has a large amount of coastline (3,478 miles). They also house a large amount of lighthouses in the state (about 67). The capital of Maine was originally Portland but was later changed to Augusta in 1832 but the population of the current capital is still smaller than the population of Portland.
Food Trivia: Maine produces about 90% of the US’ supply of blueberries.
Animals: In addition to the moose being the state’s official animal, the Maine Coon (or Wild Coon) cat is also the state’s official cat!
The current flag of the state of Maine was adopted on February 23, 1909. The flag is rectangular with a blue background. The state flag of Maine features Maine’s coat of arms in the center, two men on either side of the shield, a star above the shield, and the text “MAINE” below the shield.
The coat of arms of the state of Maine, which appears in the center of the flag, reflects Maine’s beautiful northeastern United States scenery: a large pine tree is featured in the center of the shield with a moose resting below near a river. A farmer holding a sickle and a sailor holding an anchor appear on either side of the shield. These two men represent the importance of the agriculture and sea industries for the state’s economic livelihood.
The star that appears radiantly above the shield is the North Star. The text, “DIRIGO,” appears below the North Star. Dirigo, which is Latin for “I direct,” is the state of Maine’s official motto. The text, “MAINE,” appears below the shield on a light blue banner.
Maine’s current flag is somewhat different from the state’s first flag, which was developed in 1901. The original flag was rectangular with a buff or tan-colored background. The flag featured a block image of a green pine tree in the center. The North Star appeared as a blue star in the top left corner of the flag.
Maine and Massachusetts are the only two states in the Union to fly a separate ensign, or flag at sea. Maine’s official ensign is a rectangular flag with a white background. A block image of a green pine tree appears in the center with a blue anchor behind it. The text, “DIRIGO,” appears in blue capital letters above the tree and anchor; and the text, “MAINE,” appears below the tree and anchor in the same font.