Thursday, January 24, 2008

Flag Makeover: The Beaver State

And You Thought We Had Got Past the Whole Flag Thing...

But no. You might remember that, after seeing the "most improved" category of the L&TM5K Awards for Flag Merit, Bridget B. brought up the idea of a "flag makeover."

Meanwhile, in response to Rebel's mention of the Oregon flag's two-sidedness, I shot off my mouth in the following reckless manner:
Rebel: Oregon has the only double sided state flag - does that count for
*nothing*???

michael5000: The two-sidedness of the Oregon banner does count for something, yes. It counts towards the cumulative suckitude of our state flag. The "front" side -- something you would never have to say about a proper flag -- is a prime example of the suck-o-rama state-seal-on-blue genre that I discussed in the O.P., exacerbated by text that reads "STATE OF OREGON." Rule of Thumb: If your flag is so unmemorable that you have to WRITE OUT THE NAME OF YOUR STATE ON IT, start from scratch.

From the collision of these two concepts emerges:


The L&TM5K Design a New Flag for the Beaver State Contest!

And here are the rules:

1. A flag needs to look, you know, flaggy. Patterns of bold color with, if you must, simple and iconic symbols. No photos. No intricate drawings or text. (Intricate drawings and text are on the current state flag, of course, but that's a big part of why we are designing a new flag.)
2. Flags are one-sided. Duh.
3. Flags are rectangular. Don't get all Nepal-Ohio on me.
4. Ideally, a flag should be distinctive and immediately recognizable, yet sit comfortably among traditional flag designs.
5. Readers who are not especially knowledgeable about Oregon are probably worrying too much about symbolism if they even see that as a problem.


Submit!


Entries are due no later Tuesday, February 5th. They may be in the form of a verbal description, a clipped and forwarded image, an original graphic created in a sophisticated graphic design tool such as "Paint," an actual piece of paper (or knitted swatch, etc) handed or mailed to me in real life, or any combination of the above. My email address, at Gmail, is michael5000.

Please note: participation is mandatory for those of you who have artsy cred and were hoping to keep it.

I will personally send the winning entry, or maybe all of the entries, to Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski! Or perhaps a low-ranking member of his administrative staff! And although the L&TM5K budget can't really cover an material award at this juncture, it seems quite likely to me that you will get a handsome check from the people of the State of Oregon if and when your design is actually adopted as the official state flag. Also, you will of course have the thrill of seeing your design featured in a future post.

14 comments:

The [Cherry] Ride said...

Having lived in the Beaver State for 10 years, you'd think I would have something to say or to contribute to this conversation, but I don't. I think your musings about how sucky the flag is pretty much captures my thoughts on it as well. Plus, I can't draw for shit.

Rebel said...

I'm on it!

DrSchnell said...

A two sided flag? How did I not know about that?

karmasartre said...

I think many flags are two-sided, i.e. the back is just not the backside of the front. Otherwise, you would have to read any Words on the flag backwards. Some flags lend themselves to a real reverse, or back-side, such as the lovely New Mexico one, because of their symmetry. Others don't, such as one using non-palindromic words, or those with symbols in a certain section (e.g. the stars are in the upper left on the US flag...when you flip it, they still are, so it's a separate back side -- it's a second version of the front side, not just the reverse side of it), or any asymmetry at all. The Oregon state flag just takes two-sidedness to an odd extreme. And the blues are different!

This is difficult (for me) to explain clearly. It reminds me of when, in the OJ trial, the lawyers were trying to explain that blood was on the inside of the left sock, but not inside it, on the inside part of the leg, but on the outside of the sock, but not inside the sock material, but on it. Lance was daydreaming....

Chance said...

You shamed me with the "arty" comment. Here's mine.

Chance said...

Also, I think karmasartre has been smoking the dope.

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Just where is Nepal-Ohio located anyway? I can't find their flag!

B-)

Phineas said...

Wow - after seeing Chance's entry, I've lost any prior confidence in competing. While the initial appeal of the design was moderate, the rationale behind the choices locked me in.

On the other hand, I don't think grey borders, appropriate as they may be, will win out. In fact, a quick scan reveals no major international or US states with any grey. I'm staying in the race after all.

Phineas said...

Not being too familiar with html and the limitations of what can be done in a comment, heres a link to my flag entry.

http://phineasj.blogspot.com/2008/01/oregon-state-flag.html

Chance said...

Oh crap! Now, having seen phineas' entry, I have lost confidence in competing! I'm dropping out.

Bridget B. said...

Eeek! How could I have missed this?! I'm so EXCITED!

Bridget B. said...

For your amusement, here are my initial attempts . . .
http://eyesaflame.blogspot.com/2008/01/new-oregon-flag-initial-attempts.html

Bridget B. said...

And I continue to butcher our poor flag and amuse myself greatly:

http://eyesaflame.blogspot.com/2008/01/more-oregon-flag-makeover-madness.html

mhwitt said...

The Perfect Oregon State Flag is just like this one, only much, much better.