The state flag was
adopted in 1912, and the state seal was adopted in 1902. Both bear
a mother pelican in a nest with three young pelicans. This design
shows the state's role as the protector of its people and
resources. The state motto, Union, Justice, and Confidence,
appears on the flag and the seal.
Louisiana, a southern state of the United States, lies where the
mighty Mississippi River empties into the Gulf of Mexico. This
important location has made Louisiana one of the country's busiest
commercial areas. Water routes link the state with both the heart
of America and lands across the sea.
The Mississippi tells the story of Louisiana's progress. In
colonial days, traders and fur trappers traveled the river in
canoes, hollowed-out logs, or flatboats. During the 1800's,
colorful paddle-wheel steamboats brought cotton to New Orleans and
Baton Rouge for shipment throughout the world. Today, tugboats
push chains of river barges more than 1,000 feet (300 meters)
long. New Orleans, Louisiana's largest city, ranks among the
world's busiest ports. Ocean ships can travel about 250 miles (400
kilometers) up the river to Baton Rouge, the state capital.