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Connecticut (U.S.)

Last modified: 2021-05-01 by rick wyatt
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[Flag of Connecticut] image by Clay Moss, 1 February 2009

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One of the original 13 colonies, Connecticut is represented by a star and a stripe on the 13 star U.S. flags.

Description of the flag

The General Assembly of 1897 provided an official description of the flag:

Dimensions: 5' 6'' in length, 4'4'' in width
Colors: azure blue silk with the armorial bearing in argent white silk with the design in natural colors and border of the shield embroidered in gold and silver. Below the shield there is white streamer, cleft at each end, bordered in gold and browns. The motto on the streamer is in dark blue.
Dov Gutterman, 11 October 1998

The description of the flag in the "Connecticut State Register & Manual" is:
"Inspired by a memorial from the Anna Warner Bailey Chapter of the daughters of the American Revolution, Governor O. Vincent Coffin, on May 29, 1895, introduced to the General Assembly the first proposal for the adoption of a State Flag. On that same day the Assembly passed a resolution appointing a special committee to prepare a designation of the flag already generally accepted as the official flag of the state. The General Assembly of 1897 provided an official description of the flag setting the dimensions at five feet, six inches in length and four feet, four inches in width, of azure blue silk, with the armorial bearings in argent white silk with the design in natural colors and border of the shield embroidered in gold and silver. Below the shield there is a white streamer, cleft at each end, bordered in gold and browns, the streamer bearing in dark blue the motto 'Qui Transtulit Sustinet.' "

History of the Flag

In "The Norwich Bulletin", 27 August 2008, Richard Curland, from the Norwich Historical Society, gives more historical details on the flag:

("[...] Abby Day was born in Stonington [Connecticut] and brought up in New Orleans in a genteel atmosphere. She married Confederate Capt. Cuthbert H. Slocomb of New Orleans. He was a highly respected company commander of the Washington Artillery of New Orleans. His unit accompanied the Army of Tennessee and was recognized for its bravery by prominent Confederate leaders. After her husband's death, Abby Day Slocomb moved to Groton [Connecticut] in 1888, buying a house across the street from Fort Griswold. In 1893, she formed the Anna Warner Bailey Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution [DAR].

Slocomb was appalled that Connecticut did not have a state flag. As a hostess of important gatherings and other ceremonial events, she believed an official flag was absolutely necessary. The DAR, led by Slocomb, submitted a number of flag designs to the state legislature for consideration. Slocomb lobbied legislative members individually. In 1897 her efforts paid off. An official flag, based on a DAR design, was adopted. The design includes a shield with gold and silver embroidery, three joined grapevines for religion, liberty and knowledge, plus three of the earliest colonies in the state, Hartford, Windsor and Wethersfield, all on an azure blue background. The banner on the flag shows the state motto, 'Qui transtulit Sustinet' - 'He who hath transplanted will sustain.'

A print of the original flag designed by Slocomb and her DAR chapter is on display at the Monument House Museum at Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park. Slocomb was also instrumental in organizing that museum, spearheading the idea of the state purchasing the land adjacent to Fort Griswold. She also worked to get the battlefield preserved as a state park. In the early 1900s, Slocomb traveled to Europe to take care of her daughter, who was ill. While there, Slocomb died. [...]"

Ivan Sache, 4 September 2008

Dark blue variant

[Flag of Connecticut - dark blue variant] image by Clay Moss, 1 February 2009

In my experience, many if not most Connecticut flags are made with the darker colored background. I have 3 Connecticut flags in my collection each made by the 3 major U.S. flag companies, Annin, (formerly) Dettra, and Valley Forge. All are dark blue.
Clay Moss, 1 February 2009

Connecticut State Coat of Arms

image by Joe McMillan, 19 February 2004

The Connecticut coat of arms is defined by § 3-105 of Connecticut General Statutes as follows: "A shield of rococo design of white field, having in the center three grape vines, supported and bearing fruit. The vine located in the center of the shield and the vine located on the right side of the shield shall ascend in a counterclockwise manner. The vine located on the left side of the shield shall ascend in a clockwise manner. The bordure to the shield shall consist of two bands bordered by fine lines adorned with clusters of white oak leaves (Quercus alba) bearing acorns. Below the shield shall be a white streamer, cleft at each end, bordered with two fine lines, and upon the streamer shall be in block letters the motto 'QUI TRANSTULIT SUSTINET.'"

The seal of the old Saybrook Colony in what is now Connecticut, introduced in 1639, depicted 15 grapevines, with a hand issuing from clouds in the upper left corner holding a scroll inscribed "Sustinet qui transtulit (He who transplanted sustains)."  This seal was transferred to the Connecticut Colony when it purchased the land and fort of the Saybrook settlement in 1644 and used de facto by the colony's General Court (legislature). On October 9, 1662, coincident with the promulgation of Connecticut's royal charter, the seal was formally adopted by the general assembly as the seal of the colony. It was used until 1687, when James II's despotic royal governor Edmund Andros abolished self-government throughout New England; the original seal disappeared during this period. The charter of Connecticut was restored in 1689. On October 25, 1711, the governor and council (upper house of the General Assembly) directed the purchase of a new seal, which was essentially that in use today. The grapevines were reduced to three--perhaps to represent the three original colonies of New Haven, Saybrook, and Connecticut (Hartford). The motto scroll was moved to the bottom of the oval seal and the words rearranged to read "Qui transtulit sustinet." The only change to the seal of Connecticut since then was made in May 1784, after independence, changing inscription on the rim from SIGILLUM COLONIAE CONNECTICUTENSIS to SIGILLUM REIPUBLICAE CONNECTICUTENSIS (Seal of the State of Connecticut).

From an early period, the three grapevines were used on a shield as the arms of Connecticut, appearing in that form on state military colors among other places. The current official depiction of the arms on a rococo shield was in use by 1880; it was officially adopted by the General Assembly on March 24, 1931.
Joe McMillan, 19 February 2004

State Military Crest

image by Joe McMillan, 21 April 2000

The state military crest, which is the crest used in the coats of arms of units of the National Guard, as granted by the precursor organizations of what is now the Army Institute of Heraldry. The official Institute of Heraldry blazon is "A grapevine supported and fructed proper."
Joe McMillan, 21 April 2000