Both the Great Seal of Michigan and the Coat of Arms were adopted at the Constitutional Convention of 1835. Lewis Cass, Michigan's second (non-acting) Territorial governor, created the original design.
The Coat of Arms is familiar to us because it is shown on Michigan's state flag. This first occurred in 1837. From that time, numerous flags were in use bearing the State Coat of Arms, with various designs and emblems.
It was not until 1865, however, that an official Michigan flag was adopted. The design of this flag, recommended by Adjutant-General John Robertson, and official by Governor Crapo, bore on one side the State Coat of Arms on a field of blue. On the reverse side were the arms of the United States.
Michigan's state flag was first unfurled at the laying of the corner stone at the monument of the Solders' National Cemetery at Gettysburg on the Fourth of July, 1865.
On the blue shield, the sun raises over a lake and peninsula, a man with raised hand and holding a gun represents peace and the ability to defend his rights. The elk and moose are symbols of Michigan, while the eagle represents the United States.