As the second state to be carved from the territory acquired from France in the Louisiana Purchase, Missouri joined the Union as the 24th state in 1820. Like many of its neighboring states, the state of Missouri was deeply divided on the issue of secession. During this troubled time, the state militia carried a flag bearing the Missouri coat of arms showing a Bald Eagle with olive branches (peace) and arrows (war), a grizzly bear, and a crescent moon. On top are the words “United We Stand, Divided We Fall.” Some 92 years later, this shield would become the central feature of a design by Marie Elizabeth Watkins Oliver adopted as the official Missouri State Flag in 1913. On horizontal bars of red, white, and blue (representing its French heritage), the coat of arms is supported by two more grizzly bears standing on a scroll inscribed with the words “Salus populi suprema lex esto” meaning “Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law.” Below the scroll are the Roman numerals for 1820. A band of 24 stars denotes Missouri’s induction into the union.