By most accounts, Minnesota is not a garbage state. Just look at our sterling performance on various lists. But by at least 103 accounts, we've got a garbage state flag.
So claims a petition launched Tuesday by St. Paul resident Guy Johnson. Having already attracted 103 e-signatures, the campaign implores Gov. Mark Dayton to change our "shameful" state flag, one that's beset by "unoriginality [sic] and laziness." Johnson clearly loves Minnesota, and he thinks the North State State deserves better. Here's his plea:
"Let's start off with the obvious. Our flag is hardly a flag, a seal is not a flag. As a state with its own culture, we need a flag that can represent that. The state of Minnesota is unparalleled in every aspect but one. Minnesota’s distinctive culture, varied landscapes, and diversity of people all make it stand out amongst the midwest. But our flag falls flat. Its unoriginality and laziness are shameful. We need a flag that lives up to the grandeur of our state, a flag that the people of Minnesota can be proud of. That is why we are proposing a flag referendum."
Count Brian Glynn of Bemidji among the supporters.
"Our flag sucks," he contends in the comment section.
Our take? The old flag's OK! Take a look:
It features a banner that reads "L'Étoile du Nord," which the internet tells us is French for "Star of the North." Nice. We got a lil plow guy, a metaphor for how Minnesotans love toiling in the dirt. The naked cartoon Native American, not to mention the skeptical stare he's getting from lil plow guy, is a bit problematic. The wreath of lady's slippers -- our state flower, mind you -- is a pleasant touch. The years represent statehood (1858), the opening of deeply problematic Forth Snelling (1819), and adoption of the original flag (1893), perhaps the most boring date you'll ever encounter. Aesthetically, the flag manages to be both busy and bland.
Hmm ... On second thought, maybe we do have a garbage flag, one not befitting our non-garbage state. In fact, Minnesota's flag was named among the 10 worst state/provincial flags in a 2001 survey by the North American Vexillological Association. Advocacy (flagvocacy?) group Minnesota Flag Coalition seems to agree.
Brian Glynn of Bemidji was right all along!
So feast your eyes upon these aforementioned, design-forward replacement concepts.
Photos: Flag designs courtesy of reddit.com/r/vexillology; Minnesota state flag courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.