Wisconsin's state flag includes the Coat of Arms which represents many of our valued natural resources and the contributions of early pioneers to the state's development. Notice the sailor and the "yeoman" or miner. They symbolize the type of work that people did in 1863 at the time the flag was made. The tools of the important trades of the times lie within the shield: the symbols for agriculture (plow), mining (pick and shovel), manufacturing (arm and hammer), and navigation (anchor). The badger, which is the state animal, sits above the shield. It represents the name given to the lead miners. At the base of the shield, is a cornucopia, or horn of plenty, standing for prosperity and abundance, while a pyramid of 13 lead ingots represents mineral wealth and the 13 original U.S. states. In the center lies the U.S. coat of arms symbolizing Wisconsin's loyalty to the Union.
The flag was first designed in 1863 at the request of Civil War regiments who wanted an official flag to fly during the war on the battlefield. The flag was later revised several times to add more distinctive features. The last change was made in 1981 to add the word "Wisconsin" in white capital letters above the Coat of Arms and the year of statehood, 1848, centered below it.
All of the symbols on the flag represent a richness in our natural resources, including the lakes and waterways, mineral riches under ground which provide useful products, and rich soil which provides abundance in crop production and food for people. We are very lucky to have such rich resources today.