Michigan Flag

State of Michigan

Nicknames: The Great Lakes State, The Wolverine State
Motto(s): Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice (If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you)
Date of Statehood: January 26, 1837 (26th state)
State Song: “Michigan, My Michigan” (lyrics by Douglas Malloch, tune of “O Tannenbaum”)

Michigan Flag History

The flag of Michigan, adopted in 1911, is a reflection of the state’s values, history, and natural resources. The flag features the state’s coat of arms on a field of dark blue, symbolizing the Great Lakes and the state’s position as a leader in maritime commerce. The coat of arms includes an elk and a moose, supporting a shield emblazoned with an eagle to represent the United States.

The shield is held by two animals representing Michigan—the elk on the left and the moose on the right. On the shield, a sun rises over a lake and a peninsula, symbolizing the state’s natural beauty and resources. The shield is a defender of peace (the olive branch) and a supporter of war (arrows).

Above the shield, the United States bald eagle represents support for the nation. The ribbon expresses the motto: “E Pluribus Unum,” meaning “Out of many, one,” signifying unity. Below the shield, the ribbon states the motto, “Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice,” which translates as “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you,” describing Michigan’s peninsular geography.

Michigan Quick Facts

Capital City: Lansing
Abbreviation: MI
Population: Approximately 10 million
Region: Midwest, Great Lakes
Origin of State Name: Derived from the Ojibwa word “mishigamaa,” meaning “large water” or “large lake”
Sports Teams: Detroit Lions (NFL), Detroit Tigers (MLB), Detroit Red Wings (NHL), Detroit Pistons (NBA)
Bordering States: Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois (via water boundary)
Area Codes: 231, 248, 269, 313, 517, 586, 616, 734, 810, 906, 947, 989
Highest Point: Mount Arvon at 1,979 feet (603 meters)
Lowest Point: Lake Erie at 571 feet (174 meters)

Geography of Michigan

Area: 96,716 square miles (250,487 square kilometers), 11th largest
Land: 56,539 square miles (146,435 square kilometers), 22nd largest
Water: 40,175 square miles (104,052 square kilometers), 2nd largest
Coastline: 3,288 miles (5,292 kilometers)
Shoreline: 3,288 miles (5,292 kilometers), including Great Lakes shoreline

Largest Cities:

  1. Detroit
  2. Grand Rapids
  3. Warren
  4. Sterling Heights
  5. Ann Arbor
  6. Lansing
  7. Flint
  8. Dearborn
  9. Livonia
  10. Westland
  11. Troy
  12. Farmington Hills
  13. Kalamazoo
  14. Wyoming
  15. Southfield

National Parks:

  • Isle Royale National Park
  • Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
  • Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
  • River Raisin National Battlefield Park

Michigan State Symbols

Living Insignia

State Bird: American Robin
State Animal: White-tailed Deer
State Amphibian: None
State Butterfly: None
State Fish: Brook Trout
State Flower: Apple Blossom
State Horse Breed: None
State Insect: None
State Mammal: White-tailed Deer
State Reptile: Painted Turtle

Inanimate Insignia

State Fruit: None
State Gemstone: Isle Royale Greenstone (Chlorastrolite)
State Soil: Kalkaska Sand
State Tree: Eastern White Pine
State Quarter: Issued in 2004 featuring the outline of the state, the Great Lakes system, and an outline of the state bird and flower
State Beverage: None
State Colors: Blue and White
State Dance: None
State Food: None
State Fossil: Mastodon
State Mineral: Isle Royale Greenstone (Chlorastrolite)
State Rock: Petoskey Stone