This flag shows the State seal which depicts a beautiful Montana landscape. A blazing sun shines over the mountains, the forest and the Great Falls of the Missouri River. The state motto, "Oro y plata" at the bottom of the seal is Spanish for "gold and silver," an appropriate motto for The Treasure State.
"I want to stand by my country, but I cannot vote for war."
In 1916, four years before women got the right to vote, Jeannette Rankin, a social worker from Montana, became the first woman elected to the US House of Representatives. A year after being elected Rankin was faced with having to vote on whether or not US should enter the war against Germany (WWI). She was one of 49 members of Congress who voted against war, an unpopular stand in 1917 which cost her the next election. Out of office, Rankin worked as a lobbyist and then returned to social work. In 1940, she ran for Congress again and won. History really repeats itself for this woman because, once again, a year after her election she was faced with the same issue, voting against another world war (WWII). This time she stood alone. She was the only legislator to vote against declaring war on Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor. That vote created a public outrage and sealed her political future for good. She never again sought public office. However, she continued to push for reforms. In the 1950s she spoke out against the Korean War, in the 1960s she was active in the peace movement against the war in Vietnam. And, in 1968, at the age of 87, she led 5,000 women to Capitol Hill in a protest against the war. She died in 1973.