Illinois Illinois State Flag

The Illinois flag was formally adopted on June 27, 1969. Since, Illinois has maintained the same flag for the last 55 years.

The Illinois flag was voted 34th best out of 51 Flags ranked by the North American Vexillological Association.

The 7 main colors in the Illinois flag are #FFFFFF, #785A3C, #BE0A2F, #FFE60F, #B4B4B4, #000000, and #002768. The Illinois flag width is 1.7 times the height. Standard flag size is 3 feet x 5.1 feet.

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Illinois Flag

The Illinois State Flag. Adopted by State Legislature on June 27, 1969.


#FFFFFF 83.9%
#785A3C 3.3%
#BE0A2F 2%
#FFE60F 1.4%
#B4B4B4 1%
#000000 1%
#002768 1%
Percentage totals may not equal 100. Colors with less than 1 percent are ignored.


The Illinois state flag contains the state seal on a white background with the state’s name in blue displayed beneath. The seal consists of an eagle clenching a red ribbon in its beak that declares the motto, “State Sovereignty, National Union.” The eagle perches on top a rock inscribed with “1868” and “1818” while a shield appears alongside with the famous red and white stripes.


The bald eagle, which is a very well-known symbol of the United States, holds onto a streamer displaying the state’s motto ‘national union, state sovereignty’. The meaning of these words is clear; Illinois governs itself but under the government of the United States. Anyone looking close enough will notice that the word sovereignty has been printed upside down on the states flag. This is because a secretary of state wished to change the motto to ‘state sovereignty, national union’ and when this move was not approved he turned the word upside down. No one knows whether this was done out of spite, playfulness or even intentionally.

The shield contains thirteen bars and thirteen stars which as with many state flags represents the original thirteen colonies. Interestingly Illinois is not one of the thirteen original colonies, but rather joined in 1818 becoming the 21st state.

Beneath the bald eagles talon is a rock on which it stands that bears the date of Illinois being admitted to the union (1818) and the date of the state seal (1868). The ground around the boulder symbolizes the rich soil of this prairie state. A blazing sun is seen rising over an expanse of water in the background and though these have no noted symbolic reason it could be they represent the hot and humid climate of Illinois and its vast array of rivers.


The Illinois state flag began because of a competition run by Mrs. Ella Park Lawrence. She had been walking around a memorial hall looking at flags when she noticed that there were none that represented Illinois. In an attempt to rectify this she offered a $25 prize to the organization that submitted the best flag design.

There were over thirty five designs submitted and judged by a panel of four in 1913/14. It took a while but eventually a design was chosen that based itself around the seal of Illinois. This chosen competition winning flag was officially adopted on July the 16th 1915.

In 1915 the flag was slightly amended to include the state name and on the 1st of July 1970 the flag was again amended and approved to ensure that production and color by flag makers was uniform.

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Download Illinois State Flag

Download Illinois State Flag as a high quality SVG file. Scaler Vector Images (SVGs) look good at any size. This flag can be used as tiny icons (height less than 50px) or you can make the flag huge (height over 2000px) and still look great!

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