Flags of other States in Question

Minnesota State FlagWhile we have been looking at a few other major changes made in flags, we must say something about the activity for change that is taking place in other U.S. states. We thought that some of the proposals were not improvements, like those that felt the need to add their state’s name to the older design. Like over two dozen flags, from a distance—just 30 feet above the ground—all one could see is a small version of the state seal, or Coat of Arms or just a pleasant scene. When a State chooses to put its name on a flag, it shows it is insecure in its symbolism. There has to be something more symbolic and straight-forward in any state than simply writing its name on the flag. I wrote about this legislative susceptibility in an earlier post.

UtahLooking about the Web, we found many strong and exciting flag-design proposals. But, before we get to the standout designs, we’d like to show the final design selection of the “winner” of a contest conducted by the Salt Lake Tribune for a new Utah State Flag. In 2002 I volunteered to serve on a five-person panel of the North American Vexillological Association to help the newspaper pick and choose the best entry. To replace the old 1847 Utah territory flag showing the Seal of beehive, Sego lilies and draping U.S. flags we picked a dark blue flagUtah winner designed by Dustin Eachtel. On the blue field Eachtel designed three snowy mountain peaks with sloping snow lines—a lovely flag (if or when it might be flown upside down, then the image would look much like three sea-gulls– these birds are almost sacred to citizens of Utah for their having come to rid the land of locusts). Like many other proposals in other places, when a new look for the flag is offered to the citizenry– the old design brings out loud and emotional support, to the rejection of the new. Nothing further was done after the effort and time spent by The Tribune and NAVA. (Download a PDF of NAVA’s report to the Salt Lake Tribune here)

Rogers’ Washington State designThree more design-change proposals come from concerned citizens Andrew Rogers in Washington,

Zervic Michegan proposalMr. Zervic from Michigan and, in my estimation, the most attractive of all is Jonathan David Makepeace’s “revival” of an old flag from Vermont’s colonial past– the flag of the Green Mountain Boys of Vermont. His presentation is a thrill to read– and what a great design itMakepeace Vermont design would make. These three new suggestions are winning trade-ins for each of those states’ very boring existing flags.

Finally, we in Minnesota, putting forth new design changes can, it seems to me, claim to have been trying for change longer than the others just told about. Besides our ownBecker-Herold efforts since 2001, there has been the continued presence of Lee Herold and Father Becker– along with the design proposal of Roger Johnson. Take a glance at their designs and language there.Roger Johnson

We risk overkill by continuing to “beat a dead flag” down, repeatedly. But, it is not unfair to point out that Minnesota’s 1957 flag richly deserves to be included among the two dozen others which are trite, repetitive, boring, badly designed, indistinguishable from more than twenty-four others and plainly not attractive or fulfilling to most Minnesota citizens. We, as a demographic group, just do not feel attached nor emotional about it– it is not a “fly-it-at-home” type of flag.

We believe that OUR State deserves a new flag that is fresh, clearly stated and especially easy to catch a glimpse of and immediately recognize. Our design captures the natural skies and the snows and greens that are Minnesota. WE offer Summer skies and our blazing NORTH STAR.

New Minnesota Flag

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~ by marcstratton on 15 January 2008.

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