Flag of Louisiana
|Design||Image of a pelican feeding her young with her own blood on a field of azure. Below the pelican, a ribbon displays "Union Justice Confidence". |
Prior to 1861, the state of Louisiana had no official flag, though a flag similar to the present one was often used unofficially.
In January 1861, after declaring secession from the United States but before the formation of the Confederate States of America, Louisiana unofficially used a flag based on the flag of France with seven stars on the blue stripe.
In February 1861, Louisiana officially adopted a flag with a single yellow star in a red canton, with thirteen red, white and blue stripes. This was used through the end of the American Civil War, though the Pelican flag and Flag of January 1861 remained in use unofficially.
On November 22, 2010, a new version of the flag bearing an updated version of "A Pelican In Her Piety" was unveiled. The new flag was a result of a bill passed during the 2006 legislative session legally requiring a standardized flag and to combat the issue of several alternating versions of the 1912 flag being in circulation. 
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. The mother pelican's head and outspread wings covering the three pelican chicks nestled below her form a stylized fleur-de-lis, another emblem of similar significance often depicted in Louisiana. This symbol, emblematic of Christian charity (and of Catholicism), is also found on the state seal.