State Coat of Arms
In 1957 the Legislative Assembly passed H.B. No. 822 sponsored by Representatives Clifford Lindberg and Gillman Olson to create the North Dakota coat of arms (1957 S.L., ch. 330). When the Governor is using the coat of arms as a flag there must be a white star placed in each of the four corners (North Dakota Century Code Section 54-41-04). The North Dakota coat of arms was displayed for the first time by the National Guard at Camp Grafton on June 16, 1957.
54-41-02: Significant Elements of Coat of Arms
The colors of yellow gold and green are indicative of the great agricultural state of North Dakota and has particular reference to ripening grain and the abundant grazing areas. The Indian arrowhead forms the shield of the coat of arms and symbolizes the "Sioux State". The three stars denote the trinity of government; legislative, executive, and judicial. Each star in the bend is given the heraldic value of thirteen which signifies the thirteen original colonies of the United States, and the cumulative numerical value of the three stars indicates that North Dakota was the thirty-ninth state admitted to the Union. The stars also allude to the history of the territory under three foreign flags. Three stars are borne upon the coat of arms of Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition and also on the coat of arms of Lord Selkirk, head of the first permanent settlement in this state. The fleur-de-lis alludes to laVerendrye, a French explorer who was the first known white man to visit the territory of this state. The blue and gold wreath in the crest reflects the history of the territory as part of the Louisiana purchase. The crest which shall constitute the military crest of the state of North Dakota is a motif taken from the state seal and to the Sioux Indian tribes signifies mighty warriors.
54-41-03: Authorized Use
The coat of arms of this state may be used in a manner consistent with the respect and dignity due a state coat of arms and its symbolic values by the following persons, organizations, and agencies:
- The governor of North Dakota
- The North Dakota national guard
- Departments and agencies of the state of North Dakota
- North Dakota veterans organizations
- Officially recognized North Dakota educational institutions, systems, or divisions thereof
- Recognized North Dakota patriotic organizations