During the 2006 Louisiana legislative session, a bill was passed requiring the state’s flag to be redesigned based on historical research conducted by Joseph Louvier, a high school student from Houma, LA. Historical descriptions of the blue flag include a brown pelican, the state bird, feeding her young with three drops of blood flowing from her breast. The drops of blood are described as a sign of the state’s willingness to sacrifice itself for its citizens. The design goes back to medieval times, when people believed pelicans fed chicks with their blood. By tradition and law, the Secretary of State is the keeper and custodian of the state seal and flag.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana citizens Glen Duncan and Curtis Vann stepped forward to assist with the redesign on behalf of the Baton Rouge chapter of the American Advertising Federation. Both are members of the advertising club and are experienced in printing, graphic design and branding. They offered to provide all necessary art and the subsequent digital files to bring the flag up to modern specifications and provide a means for highly accurate reproduction by modern means. Duncan and Vann conducted the comprehensive research necessary to understand the history, cultural tradition and legal descriptions of both the seal and flag. And, for the first time in 200 years, Louisiana has an exact description and artwork of its official flag and seal.
The new state flag, featuring a more angular pelican tearing its bleeding breast to feed its young, was unveiled Monday November 22, 2010 during the swearing-in ceremonies of Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne and Secretary of State Tim Schedler.
Vann and Duncan have been invited to the Baton Rouge Press Club to present their flag story in March.