THE MISSOURI STATE FLAG
BY ALLEN L. OLIVER*
The State of Missouri has had an official State Flag since
March 22, 1913. This flag was conceived, designed, and created
by Mrs. Marie Elizabeth Watkins Oliver, wife of Robert Burett
Oliver, at their home, Olive Heights, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
By common consent Mrs. Oliver kept the flag in her home until
her death in October, 1944. Under the law adopting it as the
official State Flag, its repository is in the office of the Missouri
Secretary of State. The history of this flag is interesting. Like
most worthwhile symbols, its progress from the time of its creation
to its adoption met with some obstacles.
In 1908 the Missouri Society of the National Society of the
Daughters of the American Revolution appointed a committee to
initiate the preparation of a State Flag and, if possible, to secure
the passage of a bill making it the official flag of the State of Missouri. Mrs. Oliver, as chairman of that committee, immediately
began a study of state flags, corresponded with the secretaries of
state of all the states, and after months of such study and research
designed our State Flag.1 She called Miss Mary Kochtitzky, an
artist of much skill and taste living in Cape Girardeau, to assist
her in the execution of the design and in painting the design upon
Her husband, Robert Burett Oliver, a former Missouri State
Senator, then prepared and sent to Senator Arthur L. Oliver of
Caruthersville a draft of a bill for the adoption of this flag as Missouri's State Flag. Senator Oliver introduced that bill in the
Senate on March 17, 1909.2 That same year Dr. N. R. Holcomb,
a member of the House of Representatives from Jackson County,
* Allen L. Oliver, the son of Robert Burett and Marie Elizabeth Oliver, is a native
Missourian and a member of the law firm of Oliver & Oliver, Cape Girardeau. A
graduate of Southeast Missouri State College, Cape Girardeau, he received his A.B.
and LL.B. degrees from the University of Missouri. He was recently elected a fellow
in the American College of Trial Lawyers.
JFloyd C. Shoemaker, Missouri and Missourians (Chicago, 1943), I, 23; III, 377;
William Rufus Jackson, Missouri Democracy (Chicago, 1935), III, 10-13; Blanche
Leach, Missouri State History of the D. A. R. (Sedalia, 1929), 162-68.
2 Journal of the Senate of the 45th General Assembly of the State of Missouri, 1909
(Jefferson City, 1909), 557; Shoemaker, Missouri and Missourians, I, 23.