Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Two Point Owning Some Dead Designs

The State of Florida's flag design was approved by a popular referendum in 1900. I assume that means white men, since only they could vote then*. And these men were not concerned with the aesthetics of design. They were fighting snakes and Seminoles and wondering when someone would hurry up and invent air-conditioning. And they were likely only given one design to review. In 1900, no less.

"You like it or not?" the Florida government asked the white guys, and they were all, "Sure. Whatever. Got to have a flag, right?"

State flags are generally composed of uninspired variations on the state seal, maybe a Latin word or two, the date of statehood. Blah, boilerplate crap. Or they go with some goofy take on the American flag. (Talkin' to you Texas, Ohio, Hawaii, Mississippi.) I think California scores well, even if the image is kind of, oh, communist all around. My other favorites, only because they didn't do what you'd expect, are the flags of Tennessee, Arizona, Alaska, South Carolina and New Mexico. Honorable mentions go to Colorado, Rhode Island, Arkansas and Indiana for the extra effort. For sheer balls and against-the-grain rebelliousness, Alabama gets good marks for their punk rock flag that isn't even properly shaped. Or maybe that's a Confederate X, in which case, nevermind.

I get the feeling that the cool ones were designed by one person and the crappy ones were designed by a few committees reaching a compromise that satisfied no one. Then they ran it by the Governor's wife and her best friend, who used to work for the high school yearbook and knows a thing or two about "the proper placement of elements so as to draw the viewer into an experience with the piece." She said, "Make that green a little greener. And does the guy in the coonskin cap have his fly open?" Once the Governor's wife's best friend was done adjusting the design, they put it to a referendum of the white menfolk. In 1900.

I think State governments should overhaul their images once in a while. They do it with their license plates all the time. Hey, Maryland! What the fuck is going on in that seizure-inducing, nightmare illusion? Oregon. Really? A cartoon beaver? C'mon, Idaho. You're not even trying.

Isn't it time we 2.0'd some of these ugly old relics?

* Yes, I know Blacks were given the vote post-Civil War, but the quickly adopted Poll Tax in the Southern states sort of prevented a lot of Blacks from voting.

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  • i totally agree. most all of those flags look like a buncha old white guys designed/approved them. i looked at the big image before reading the whole post & i picked out the exact ones you mentioned as at least interesting.

    but if you're up for a good laugh, read up on the fiasco that is the Georgia state flag. for 2 years we had one of the most ridiculous flags-by-committee ever. thankfully i was living in CA during that time. read on: http://www.netstate.com/states/symb/flags/ga_flag.htm

    By Anonymous sinisterdesign, at October 18, 2009 at 11:30 PM  

  • Thanks for reading, Sinister. And thanks for the link.

    And thanks for living in CA.

    Long live CA.

    (Until it drops off into the sea.)

    By Blogger Jetpacks, at October 22, 2009 at 11:09 PM  

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