The Connecticut State Flag Coat of Arms: An Analysis of its Symbolisms

The Connecticut State Flag Coat of Arms is a symbol that represents the essence of the state’s history and heritage. Behind its intricate design lies a rich history that dates back to the early settlements in the area. In this article, we will dive deep into the symbolism of each element of the coat of arms and explore the historical significance behind its design. From the grapevines to the motto, we will unravel the hidden meanings and connections to the state’s past. Join us on a journey of discovery as we analyze the Connecticut State Flag Coat of Arms.

The Design of the Coat of Arms

The Design Of The Coat Of Arms
The Connecticut State Flag’s coat of arms has a rich and detailed design that features several components. The field is azure blue, symbolizing the state’s motto, “Qui Transtulit Sustinet” (which means “He Who Transplanted Still Sustains”). On the field are three grapevines, which stand for the early settlers who brought vineyards with them from Europe. The vines, which are depicted with three branches each, represent the three English colonies that joined together to form Connecticut. The coat of arms also features a crest on top, which shows a helmet and a laurel wreath. Below the field are two supporters, representing a European farmer and a Native American. These two figures signify the partnership between the two groups during the early colonization of Connecticut. The coat of arms is completed by a banner below the supporters, which bears the state’s motto in Latin.

The Field

The field of the Connecticut State Flag Coat of Arms is blue and depicts three grapevines. The blue field represents the sky and the ocean, highlighting the state’s location on the East Coast. The three grapevines stand for the three original colonies of the state, Hartford, New Haven, and Wethersfield. The grapevines create a U-shape that symbolizes the recognition of the state’s past and future. The symbolism of the grapevines can also be associated with wine making and agriculture, which were important economic activities in Connecticut’s early history.

The vines themselves are lush and full, but each has only a few grapes. This is symbolic of congregationalism, the state religion at the time of the flag’s creation, which stressed that individuals should produce only as much as they needed and not waste resources. The brief mention of the State Flag Colors and Symbols is directly related to the symbolism of the Connecticut State Flag’s grapevines.

The field of the Connecticut State Flag Coat of Arms represents the state’s ties to its past, its agriculture, and its religious history. The blue color and grapevines also serve as a reminder of the importance of longevity, perseverance, and faith throughout time.

The Grapevines

The Grapevines on the Connecticut State Flag are an essential part of its symbolic design. It can be seen flanking both sides of the coat of arms, symbolizing the state’s historical connection with agriculture. The vines also represent the first grapevine brought to America by the Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant in 1647, which was planted in his garden in the New Netherlands (present-day New York). During the 18th century, Connecticut was known for its production of wine, and the grapevine is a fitting reminder of this era.

The inclusion of the Grapevines on the Connecticut State Flag can also be attributed to the Biblical reference of the vine being a symbol of peace and plenty. The Bible relates the idea of vines and vineyards with joyful living, fertility, rebirth and renewal. Connecticut’s decision to include the Grapevines on its coat of arms can also be seen as a nod to the state’s desire for unity and prosperity. Additionally, the image of the Grapevines imparts a sense of elegance, culture, and sophistication to the design.

The Grapevines on the Connecticut State Flag are an essential and meaningful symbol. They serve as a reminder of the state’s contribution to American agriculture, its history and culture, and its desire for peace and prosperity. This design element makes the flag stand out amongst other state flags, like those of Texas, Alabama, New York, or Vermont, which convey different meanings through their symbols and colors.

The Crest

The Crest: The crest of the Connecticut state flag is a gold, five-pointed star with a blue outline. Inside the star is a white and blue ribbon with the Latin motto “Qui Transtulit Sustinet,” which means “He who transplanted still sustains.” This ribbon sits atop a gold helmet, symbolizing the state’s sovereignty. The crest signifies the importance of the state’s heritage and the ideals that its founders held dear.

Here is an overview of the different elements that make up the Connecticut state flag’s crest:

Element Symbolism
Gold Star Represents the state’s seal and the recognition of its incorporation into the United States
Blue Outline Emphasizes the importance of the state’s waterways and maritime history
White and Blue Ribbon Honors the state’s motto and the principles of faith and hope that its founders held
Gold Helmet Symbolizes the state’s sovereignty and strength

Fun fact: The design of the helmet is based on the type of helmet used by soldiers during the Revolutionary War, which is a nod to the state’s role in the fight for American independence.

If you want to learn more about the symbolism of state flags, check out this article on state flag colors and symbols.

The Supporters

The shield of Connecticut’s coat of arms is supported by two white oak branches. White oaks represent Connecticut’s forested landscape, while the fact that they support the shield represents the state’s foundation being built on its natural resources.

Beneath the shield is a banner with the state’s motto, “Qui Transtulit Sustinet,” which means “He Who Transplanted Still Sustains.” This banner is held by a ribbon which is divided into three parts, each part showing a phrase. One side reads “The Order of the Founders and Patriots of America,” referring to a hereditary organization for descendants of early colonists in the United States. Another side reads “1685 – 1885,” commemorating the 200th anniversary of the establishment of the state government. The third and final side reads “Qui Transtulit Sustinet,” the state motto as mentioned earlier.

The supporters of the Connecticut state flag symbolize the importance of nature and its resources to the state’s foundation, as well as providing homage to the state’s history and tradition.

The Motto

The motto on the Connecticut State Flag is “Qui Transtulit Sustinet,” which translates to “He who transplanted still sustains.” This Latin phrase is quite profound and carries a lot of symbolism behind it. It reflects the strong faith of the founders of the state who believed that divine providence guided their journey, and that God continued to sustain and guide them after their arrival in the new land. The motto also acknowledges the role of the early settlers, who were determined to build a new society that would be based on liberty, democracy, and freedom. They worked hard to create a new home for themselves and their descendants, and this motto stands as a testament to their perseverance and determination. Interestingly, the motto has been incorporated into other symbols of Connecticut as well, such as the state seal and the state quarter. This just goes to show how important this motto is to the people of Connecticut, and how it continues to inspire them to this day.

The Symbolisms Behind the Design

The Connecticut State Flag’s Coat of Arms is laden with symbolism that reflects the state’s rich cultural heritage. The three grapevines are a nod to the state’s deep roots in the wine industry, and they also represent the Christian Holy Trinity and the three colonies that initially formed Connecticut. The crest showcases a golden, heraldic shield with three crowns and a red banner featuring the Latin motto “Qui Transtulit Sustinet,” which means “He who transplanted still sustains.” This motto is a testament to the state’s endurance and resilience. The supporters of the Coat of Arms are a Native American clutching a bow and a European holding an arrow. This is an homage to the Connecticut colony’s coexistence between the white settlers and Native Americans. There is more to uncover behind this fascinating emblem – an emblem that has stood with courage and strength for Connecticut in times of peace and conflict.

The Fundamental Orders

served as an inspiration for the Connecticut State flag’s design. These were a set of laws created in 1639 by the Connecticut Colony. These orders were the first written constitution in the American colonies and were a fundamental regime for the people. They aimed to establish the rights of the individual while limiting the powers of the government. The Connecticut Colony had a strong sense of democracy, and these orders were a significant milestone in the evolution of American democracy, which had a lasting impact on the development of the United States of America.

The Fundamental Orders emphasized the importance of the individual, which is evident in the Connecticut State flag’s design. The three grapevines on the flag symbolize the three colonies that joined together to form Connecticut. These colonies were New Haven, Windsor, and Hartford, and the grapes represented each colony’s unique qualities while also emphasizing that each colony was vital to the formation of the state.

Additionally, the symbol of a shield present in the flag emphasizes the protection of individual rights. It’s a testament to the fact that the Connecticut Colony recognized the importance of individual freedom and how limiting the government’s powers was necessary to protect the rights of its citizens.

The Connecticut State flag’s design is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it is also intended to remind Connecticut and all Americans of its democratic heritage. It honors the constitution and serves as a visual reminder of the principles that shape Connecticut’s and America’s values. The Fundamental Orders were revolutionary in their time, and their principles are still relevant today.

The Seal of Saybrook Colony

The Seal of Saybrook Colony is an essential part of the Connecticut State Flag Coat of Arms. Founded in 1635, the Saybrook Colony was a critical settlement on the mouth of the Connecticut River. During that time, the seal of the colony consisted of an emblem of four joined hearts. Three of these hearts were arranged point downwards, and one upwards, surmounted by a stalk of maize with the motto “MAGNA BRITANNIA COLONIA” (“Great Britain Colony”) encircling the image.

The four hearts represented the original four colonists of the Saybrook Colony: Lieutenant Lion Gardiner, Captain George Denison, William Willys, and Lieutenant William Pratt. The upward-pointing heart represents John Winthrop, Jr., the Governor and one of the English Colony’s limited partners. The single upward-pointing heart represents him because of his leadership role in the English Colony and implication in the foundation of Saybrook Colony.

Such symbolism, including the four hearts, maize stalks, and the British coat of arms, has been incorporated into the Connecticut State Flag Coat of Arms. The inspiration for the design is taken from the Saybrook Colony’s seal, which represents the Saybrook Colony’s founders’ dedication to their homeland, Great Britain.

The present Connecticut Seal Coat of Arms still incorporates the four hearts, but it now signifies the original settlements of the colony as well as the state’s traditions and history. The shield bears three vines that alternate grapevines bearing either three or five grape leaves. The Crest consists of a lawfully-ranked eagle symbolizing Governor Buckingham. The eagle holds in its beak a ribbon with the state motto “QUI TRANSTULIT SUSTINET” (“He who transplanted still sustains”).

The English Heritage

The Connecticut State Flag Coat of Arms design is influenced by English heritage. The three grapevines represent the three colonies of Connecticut, which were established by English Puritans. This design is reminiscent of the vine and its three branches in the coat of arms of the Worcester family, who were early settlers in Connecticut.

Connecticut’s English roots can also be seen in the design of the crest as a helmet of a knight. This is a nod to the English tradition of heraldry, which uses symbols to represent families and institutions.

The supporters of the Coat of Arms also have ties to England. The lion on the left-hand side of the shield represents England and the unicorn on the right-hand side represents Scotland. These two mystical beasts are part of the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom. The motto “Qui transtulit sustinet” is also written in Latin, which was commonly used in England during the time when Connecticut was founded.

The English heritage is an integral part of the symbolism of the Connecticut State Flag Coat of Arms. It represents the roots of the state and its connections to its founders who came from England.

The Indians and the Christian Faith

The Connecticut State Flag Coat of Arms also includes two figures flanking the shield. One is a farmer and the other is a Native American. The Native American holds an arrow and a bow with its tip pointed downwards to symbolize peace, as the arrow has not been fired. The farmer holds an axe, a symbol of his trade, and represents the colonists who founded Connecticut.

The image of the Native American on the Connecticut State Flag Coat of Arms bridges the gap between the colonizers and the natives. During the colonial period, Christian missionaries arrived in Connecticut from England to convert Native Americans to Christianity. This proved to be a difficult task as the indigenous people had their own deeply ingrained spiritual beliefs. However, a small number of indigenous people did convert, and the image on the state flag could be interpreted as a Christianized Native American.

It is known that the founder of Connecticut, Thomas Hooker, made a treaty with the Native Americans. In this treaty, the settlers recognized the land rights of the indigenous people. This move was unprecedented at the time, and it is possible that the presence of the Native American figure on the Connecticut State Flag Coat of Arms is a nod to this treaty.

Interestingly, the coat of arms of Connecticut was created in 1931, over two centuries after the formation of the state. The inclusion of the Native American symbolizes Connecticut’s respect for its heritage, the peaceful coexistence of its citizens, and the importance of intercultural communication.

Since the presence of the Native American on the Connecticut State Flag Coat of Arms is a symbol of the state’s Indigenous heritage and peace, it is worth noting that Native Americans have been featured on other state flags. For example, the New York State flag features the powerful bald eagle, which plays a prominent role in Indigenous beliefs. However, the eagle is also a symbol of the United States and was used in the design of the Great Seal of the United States. On the other hand, Vermont’s flag shows a pine tree, which was sacred to the Native Americans and represents the state’s peacefulness.

The image of the Native American on the Connecticut State Flag Coat of Arms is a significant reminder of the state’s native heritage, Christian roots, and peaceful coexistence between cultures.

Other Historical Trivia

Aside from the design of the Connecticut State Flag, there are several historical trivia surrounding it. One of which is the Flag of the Governor’s Foot Guard. The Foot Guard is a military unit that was created by the Connecticut General Assembly in 1771, and the unit has been guarding the Connecticut Governor ever since. The flag of the Foot Guard is quite similar to the Connecticut State Flag, but with a few minor changes in the design of the crest and motto. Another interesting information is about the Original Connecticut State Flag, which showed a white shield with three grapevines. It was not until 1897 when the General Assembly finally adopted the current design of the Connecticut State Flag. Lastly, for those interested in the symbolism of other state flags, one can look into Vermont State Flag Meanings, The Significance of the Liberty Cap on the Pike NY Flag or The Meaning Behind Alabama’s Bald Eagle Flag.

The Flag of the governor’s Foot Guard

The Flag of the Governor’s Foot Guard is a significant part of Connecticut’s history, and it has a unique symbolism just like the state flag’s coat of arms. The Governor’s Foot Guard is one of the oldest continuous active military units in the United States, and its flag reflects the historical significance of this organization.

The design of the Governor’s Foot Guard’s flag consists of a blue background with a white emblem at its center. The emblem is an eagle with its wings spread wide and holding a banner inscribed with the unit’s motto, “Qui Primum Non Olet” (which means “He who arrives first does not wait for the shower”). The eagle is surrounded by thirteen white stars, representing the original colonies. Below the eagle is the state’s motto, “Qui Transtulit Sustinet” (which means “He who transplanted sustains”).

The Governor’s Foot Guard was founded in 1771 by Governor Jonathan Trumbull, and it played a crucial role in the American Revolution. The Guard’s flag reflects this history, with the eagle representing the United States and the thirteen stars symbolizing the original colonies that fought for independence. The unit’s motto, “Qui Primum Non Olet,” dates back to ancient Rome and reflects the Guard’s determination to be the first to bear arms in defense of the state and country.

Today, the Governor’s Foot Guard serves as an honor guard for the governor and participates in various civic events throughout the state. The flag is a symbol of the Guard’s proud history and tradition of service. Its design embodies the state’s motto, which translates to “He who transplanted sustains,” reminding Connecticut residents of the state’s rich history and commitment to preserving its heritage.

The Original Connecticut State Flag

The original Connecticut State Flag was nothing like the coat of arms it features today. In fact, it wasn’t until 1897, almost two centuries after Connecticut was founded, that the state officially adopted a flag. Prior to this, there was a flag used by the Governor’s Foot Guard, known as “Old Glory” which featured a blue field and a single large white star in the center.

Interestingly, the first official Connecticut State Flag was actually a variation of the Seal of the Governor and Company of the English Colony of Connecticut. This seal featured three vines with grape bunches hanging from them, along with the Latin motto “Sustinet Qui Transtulit” which means “He who transplanted still sustains.” The flag had the same design, but with the addition of a white bar on top and bottom.

In 1957, the state finally adopted a flag that featured the current coat of arms design prominently on a blue field. However, the flag was not officially standardized until 1965. Today, the original Connecticut State Flag is a piece of history that represents the state’s roots and evolution over time.

The Evolution of the Connecticut State Flag

The evolution of the Connecticut State Flag has been an interesting one, with several changes and modifications over the years. The earliest known flag of Connecticut was the flag of the Governor’s Foot Guard, adopted in 1775. This flag featured a blue field with the emblem of the Foot Guard – a crowned eagle holding a red ribbon in its beak inscribed with the words “Qui Transtulit Sustinet,” which is also the state motto.

Later, a new state flag was adopted in 1897, featuring the Connecticut State Seal on a blue field. The state seal has three grapevines and a ribbon containing the state motto around it, with a white banner below it reading “STATE OF CONNECTICUT.”

In 1957, the flag was again modified, with a gold and silver shield added to the center of the state seal. The shield features three grape vines on a field of blue, which represents the three original settlements in Connecticut. The vines also represent industry, as Connecticut was known as the “Nutmeg State.” A banner below the shield reads “IN GOD WE TRUST.”

In 2001, the current flag of Connecticut was adopted. It features a simplified version of the state seal, with the blue shield and three grapevines. The banner below the shield reads “STATE OF CONNECTICUT,” in bold white letters.

The evolution of the Connecticut State Flag reflects the changing styles and ideologies of the state and its people. From a simple emblem of the governor’s Foot Guard to a more complex state seal and shield, the flag design has undergone several changes over the years. However, the elements of grapevines, industry, and faith have remained consistent throughout all the modifications, reflecting the fundamental values of the state.


Analyzing the symbolism of the Connecticut State Flag Coat of Arms reveals the rich historical legacy of the state. The flag’s design incorporates various elements that represent the state’s English heritage, Christian faith, and Native American history, which are all important facets of Connecticut’s past.

The Connecticut State Flag Coat of Arms serves as a reminder of Connecticut’s fundamental values and the progressive ideals it stood for. The combination of the three grapevines serves as a visual representation of the state’s motto, “He Who Transplanted Still Sustains,” and the coat of arms is a testament to the state’s commitment to freedom, equality, and democracy.

Moreover, the evolution of the flag through time highlights how Connecticut has changed as a state. With the changing of the Governor’s Foot Guard flag and the designs of the original and current state flag, the flag has become more representative of the state as a whole, showing how Connecticut has grown and changed over time.

In conclusion, the Connecticut State Flag Coat of Arms is more than just a symbol, it represents the state’s past and points toward its future. It gives Connecticut residents a sense of pride and identity, and it stands as a tribute to those who built and shaped the state.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the meaning of the Connecticut State Flag Coat of Arms?

The Connecticut State Flag Coat of Arms represents the state’s history and values such as the Fundamental Orders, English heritage, and the Christian faith.

Who designed the Connecticut State Flag Coat of Arms?

The Connecticut State Flag Coat of Arms was designed by William Fowler, a Connecticut native, in 1784.

What is the significance of the grapevines in the Coat of Arms?

The grapevines represent the state’s flourishing wine industry and its connection to the agricultural heritage of the state.

What do the three crowns in the Coat of Arms symbolize?

The three crowns represent the three colonial settlements, Hartford, New Haven, and Saybrook, that merged to form Connecticut.

What is the meaning behind the Latin motto on the Coat of Arms?

The Latin motto on the Coat of Arms, “Qui transtulit sustinet,” means “He who transplanted still sustains,” which symbolizes God’s role in transplanting the Pilgrims to America and his continued sustaining presence.

What is the history of the Fundamental Orders and why is it represented in the Coat of Arms?

The Fundamental Orders was a document that established the framework for Connecticut’s government and was the first written constitution in America. It is represented in the Coat of Arms because it is an important part of Connecticut’s history and its contributions to the principles of democratic governance.

What is the significance of the seal of Saybrook Colony in the Coat of Arms?

The Seal of Saybrook Colony represents the founding of Connecticut and its early settlement history. Saybrook Colony was established in 1635 by Lion Gardiner and was the first English settlement in Connecticut.

What is the connection between Connecticut’s English heritage and the Coat of Arms?

The Coat of Arms includes three lions as a nod to Connecticut’s English heritage and its colonial beginnings with the colonization efforts of John Winthrop the Younger.

How is the Christian faith represented in the Coat of Arms?

The Indian figures holding bows and arrows on either side of the shield represent the conversion of Native Americans to the Christian faith, as well as the important role of religion in Connecticut’s history and culture.

What is the history of the Governor’s Foot Guard and their flag?

The Governor’s Foot Guard is a ceremonial unit that was formed in 1771 to provide protection to the Connecticut governor. Their flag features the Coat of Arms in the center and is flown at the governor’s residence and state buildings on ceremonial occasions.


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