The State of Oregon celebrates its sesquicentennial next year (1859-2009), and The Oregonian newspaper in Portland has announced a contest to design a new flag for the state. It’s not sanctioned by the State of Oregon, but it’s a start.
The Oregon flag, like many state flags, uses the state seal on the obverse side. But unlike other flags, it has a beaver on the reverse side. Rendered in brilliant blue and gold, it’s chock-full of symbolism, but seen from a distance, the seal is just a golden blur. As for the beaver, it looks like a distant mountain, or collapsed bee skep.
Here’s the story from The Oregonian.
Should Oregon redesign the state flag? Want to give it a try?
Saturday October 18, 2008
Not to complain. Not to bring up a touchy subject when there’s so much economic gloom to worry about.
But could we talk for a moment about updating Oregon’s flag? It won’t cost a cent to consider it, and it might be a fun way to get people thinking about what makes Oregon so special. It could even save a few bucks. Our state turns 150 next year: The perfect occasion for Oregonians to fashion a flag as distinctive as the state itself.
Picture the eye-catching symbolism of the great U.S. flag that instantly stands out from miles away. Now picture Oregon’s: not so bad up close, but tough to decipher or distinguish at any distance.
Oregon is unique, beautiful and innovative and deserves a flag that is, too. Maybe you like our state flag. Let us know that, too. It deserves respect. But maybe you have some ideas that would make it even better.
Right now one of the few things that sets it apart is its price: roughly twice the cost of other state flags because of its unusual two-sided design.
The rest of the story is at The Oregonian.
I have written before that after the Lone Star, the flag of New Mexico is one of the first flags I learned to recognize because it was so distinctive. All of my neighbor states have terrific flags, and I have written about the flags of New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana here and here.
This will be a great story to follow, and maybe the state of Oregon will seriously consider a new flag that stands out in a crowd, yet reflects the history and traditions of Oregon. I wish them all success.