The Louisiana State Flag visually symbolizes the state’s role in protecting the people and lands of “the Pelican State”. The Louisiana flag features a mother pelican feeding her young with flesh torn from her own breast. Pelicans have been symbols of Louisiana since colonial times. Three specks of blood on the mother’s breast evoke the image of self-sacrifice by the state to provide for its citizens. The blood also references Christ’s sacrifice for the sins of the world. The words of the Louisiana state motto: “Union, Justice and Confidence” appear on a ribbon below the family of pelicans. Louisiana adopted its flag in 1912, 100 years after it became a state.