State flags

Does a state flag tell the world what a state is or what a state was?

In Oregon, the king newspaper — the Oregonian — is calling for a new state flag, according to the blog Visual Editors. From our listening post in Minnesota, it doesn’t seem like a bad idea.


Editor Michael Milstein said:

The front carries the state seal, which looks crisp on stationery, but not on a flag. It’s almost impossible to interpret from afar and tough to tell apart from Wisconsin’s, Vermont’s or a bunch of others that also have a state seal stamped on a blue background.

Like, ummmmm, you know…


The Great Seal of Minnesota features a bare-footed farmer plowing a field. The farmer’s axe, gun and powder horn are on a stump. An Indian rides nearby. A nearby field borders a river and waterfall. Ladyslippers are also on the seal because they’re the state flower, although the official state muffin (blueberry), mushroom (morel), fruit (Honeycrisp apple), butterly (Monarch) or bird (loon) get no love at all.

A citizen’s commission came up with a new design in the ’80s. The Pioneer Press also did what the Oregonian is now doing. Bill were filed in the Legislature as late as 2007 and the air seems to go out of the effort every time an alternative is unveiled.