The flag of Louisiana consists of a heraldic charge called a "pelican in her piety," representing a mother pelican wounding her breast to feed her young from the blood. This symbol, emblematic of Christian charity, is also found on the state seal. On the flag it is depicted above a ribbon with the state motto: "Union, Justice, and Confidence". The current flag was adopted in 2006, revising the original pelican design of 1912.
During the 19th century it was traditional in Louisiana flags and the state seal for the "pelican in her piety" to have three drops of blood on her chest. However, in later years the tradition (on both the state flag and seal) had been haphazardly followed, which was noticed by an eighth-grader at Vandebilt Catholic High School in Houma who brought this to the attention of his state legislator. The issue was resolved in April 2006, when the Louisiana State Legislature passed a bill (House Bill 833/Act 92) which requires three drops of blood to be depicted on the pelican used in both the state's flag and seal. The new state flag, featuring a new design, was recently unveiled during swearing-in ceremonies of new state officials.
Louisiana State Flag Symplistic Proposal. In 2006 Louisiana’s state legislature passed a bill requiring any depiction of the mother pelican in the state’s flag or seal be accompanied by a depiction of the three drops of blood with which she feeds her young. In my design the white bar on the left represents the mother pelican. The three stars are three drops of blood. The white triangle on the right is the young pelican’s beak. By Ed Mitchell. 2013.
Louisiana State Flag Proposal by NATHANIEL TANG on 13 JUNE 2015 at 05:40 UTC . Flag based on old New France regimental flags of the Royal French Army, defaced with arms with the pelican in her piety heraldic charge
Louisiana State Flag Proposal by NATHANIEL TANG on 13 JUNE 2015 at 14:40 UTC . The French Tri-couleur, defaced with arms with the pelican in her piety heraldic charge
Louisiana State Flag Proposal by NATHANIEL TANG on 13 JUNE 2015 at 14:40 UTC . The French Tri-couleur, defaced with four fleur-de-lis representing the pelican in her piety
Louisiana State Flag Proposal by NATHANIEL TANG on 15 JUNE 2015 at 12:00 UTC .
Louisiana State Flag Proposal No. 12 Designed By: Stephen Richard Barlow 25 JUL 2015 at 0904 HRS CST.
The fleur-de-lis is a very common heraldic symbol, but it is most well-known as a symbol of France, especially the Kingdom of France before the transition to a republic. It appears in many flags and other symbols in North America to represent French heritage; for example, the provincial flag of Quebec and the flags of the cities of St. Louis, Missouri and New Orleans, Louisiana.
Besides France, greater Louisiana has been a territory of Spain for a few decades. Spain had ruled in parts of the current area of Louisiana previously. Several designs symbolize Louisiana having been a colony of both, representing Spain by the Cross of Burgundy (then used by Spain as its military flag), the castle and lion of Castile and León, or the red and yellow from the current flag of Spain.