Marie Watkins Oliver
Designer of Missouri State Flag —
‘TENACIOUS’ APPROPRIATELY DESCRIBES MANY Missouri women, but it is especially fitting for Marie Watkins Oliver of Cape Girardeau. As a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Oliver, born in Ray County in 1854, learned that Missouri had no official flag. So, she decided she should design one. However, actually getting the flag adopted by the state legislature was not such an easy task.
The Oliver flag bill was introduced in the Missouri Senate in 1909, but it failed to pass. When the Capitol burned down in 1911, the flag was inside and was destroyed. Oliver recreated the flag and it finally became the official state flag in 1913.
Cape Girardeau, where Oliver spent much of her adult life, adopted the slogan, “Cape Girardeau, Home of the Missouri State Flag.” Oliver’s home, where she died in 1944, is now on the National Register of Historic Places.