Louisiana Genealogy & History Network

A Louisiana Waterway

Louisiana Facts & Statistics

The Louisiana State Flag

consists of a heraldic charge called a "pelican in her piety," representing a mother pelican wounding her breast to feed her young from the blood. The mother pelican's head and outspread wings covering the three pelican chicks nestled below her form a stylized fleur-de-lis, another emblem of similar significance often depicted in Louisiana. This symbol, emblematic of Christian charity (and of Catholicism), is also found on the state seal. On the flag it is depicted above a ribbon with the state motto: "Union, Justice, and Confidence." The current flag was adopted in November 2010, a revision of the original pelican design of 1912.

During the 19th century it was traditional in Louisiana flags and the state seal for the "pelican in her piety" to have three drops of blood on her chest. However, in later years the tradition (on both the state flag and seal) had been haphazardly followed, which was noticed by an eighth-grader at Vandebilt Catholic High School in Houma who brought this to the attention of his state legislator. The issue was resolved in April 2006, when the Louisiana State Legislature passed a bill (House Bill 833/Act 92) which requires three drops of blood to be depicted on the pelican used in both the state's flag and seal. The new state flag, featuring a new design, was unveiled during swearing-in ceremonies of new state officials. In November 2010, the flag was revised again, featuring a more detailed pelican than the previous one, as well as removing the word "and" from the ribbon.

The Great Seal of Louisiana

Prior to the Civil War, the "pelican in her piety" surrounded by the motto "Justice, Union and Confidence" was commonly used as the state's seal, after the Civil War, Union supplanted Justice as the ideal to uphold and the motto was changed to "Union, Justice and Confidence". The Great Seal of the State of Louisiana was adopted as the official state seal of Louisiana in 1902. The seal consists of a heraldic charge called a "pelican in her piety," representing a brown pelican (the official state bird) wounding her breast to feed her young from her own blood. This symbol, emblematic of Christian charity, is also found on the Louisiana state flag. The Louisiana state motto of "Union, justice, confidence" surrounds the birds on the state seal. An outer ring further identifies it with the words "State of Louisiana".

Louisiana Facts

Capital - Baton Rouge

Nick Name - The Pelican State, The Bayou State, Sportsman's Paradise

Motto - Union, Justice and Confidence

Constitution Ratified - April 20, 1974

Statehood - April 30, 1812 - 18th State

Population - 4,670,724 (25th)

State Amphibian - Green Treefrog

State Beverage - Milk

State Bird - Brown Pelican

State Crustacean - Crawfish

State Cuisine - Gumbo

State Dog - Catahoula Leopard Dog

State Doughnut - Beignet

State Flower - Magnolia blossom

State Fossil - Petrified Palmwood

State Freshwater Fish - White Perch

State Fruit - Strawberry

State Gemstone - Cabochon Cut Oyster Shell

State Insect - Honeybee (Apis mellifera)

State Land Mammal - Louisiana Black Bear

State Mineral - Agate

State Musical Intrument - Cajun Accordian

State Reptile - Alligator

State Saltwater Fish - Spotted Sea Trout

State Song - Give Me Louisiana

State Symbol - Fleur-de-lis

State Tree - Bald Cypress

State Vegetable - Sweet Potato

Largest Cities (by population) - New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Lafayette, Lake Charles

Bordering States - North: Arkansas, South: Gulf of Mexico, East: Mississippi, West: Texas

Number of Parishes - 64

Largest Parish (by population) - East Baton Rouge Parish, pop. 444,275 (2012)

Largest Parish (by size) - Plaquemines Parish, 2,429 sq mi.

Smallest Parish (by population) - Tensas Parish, pop. 5,066 (2012)

Smallest Parish (by size) - West Baton Rouge Parish, 203 sq mi.

Electoral Votes - 8

U.S. Congress - 2 Senators; 6 Representatives

Time Zone - Central Time

Louisiana Climate & Weather

Generally - Hot, humid summers and mild winters.

Highest Temperature - 114 degrees / August 10, 1936 / Plain Dealing

Lowest Temperature - -16 degrees / February 13, 1899 / Minden

Average High Temp - 91 degrees F

Average Low Temp - 45 degrees F

Louisiana Geography

Highest Point - 535 feet / Driskill Mountain / Bienville Parish

Lowest Point - 8 feet below sea level / New Orleans

Mean Elevation - 100 feet

Louisiana Land Area

Total Area - 50,000 sq mi. (32nd)

Land Area - 42,500 sq mi. (96.86%)

Water Area - 7,500 sq mi. (3.14%)

Forested Land Area - 15.74 million acres (49.2%)

Dimensions (Max Length X Max Width) - 376 miles x 130 miles