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The flag of the Iowa features an eagle carrying a ribbon with the words of Iowa’s motto, “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain”.
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Iowa Flag, 1918


Dixie Cornell Gebhardt, from Knoxville, designed Iowa's state flag in the early 1900s. Gebhardt was a leader with the state's chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, which pushed for the formal adoption of a state flag by the Iowa Legislature during World War I. In 1921, the legislature adopted the flag, with its tricolor vertical stripes (blue, white and red) and eagle in flight carrying a streamer inscribed with the state's motto: "Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain." The eagle also appears on Iowa's state seal.

Source-Dependent Questions

  • The motto for Iowa, “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain”, was adopted in 1847, a year after Iowa was granted statehood. Think about that period in US history. Connect national events with the adoption of this motto for Iowa. What did it mean to the people in 1847?
  • What elements of the Iowa flag are connected with symbols of the United States? Why do you think the design of the flag has such connections?
  • If you were going to make a new flag for Iowa today, what elements would you put in your design? Would you create a new motto? If so, what would it be?

Citation Information

New Iowa Regimental Flag. History of the Flag. 1918. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.