Blech. Minnesota’s flag is yet another “shield on a field”, and the fact that the blue field is a little lighter than most of the other crappy flags of this kind doesn’t save it. Especially because the seal in the middle is an incredibly bad design, too.
Let’s name the problems: The name of the state is spelled out. It does some inscrutable stuff with the number of stars, themselves in a star pattern. The seal includes three different years… I have no idea what they all represent, and no one else knows or cares either. There’s a motto in there too. And the scene in the middle has so many symbolic bits in it that you can’t read it, even if at full size. (Trust me.) Blech.
Fortunately I don’t have to fix this, because someone else has already done it.
Rev. William Becker and Lee Herold designed and proposed a replacement, which has received some popular support in the state. Wikipedia explains: The star represents “L’etoile du Nord” and Minnesota’s natural wealth, the blue background represents Minnesota’s lakes and rivers, the white represents winter, and the green represents farmland and forests. The waves represent the name Minnesota, a Dakota word which means “sky-tinted waters”. There’s more behind it. This is a good flag, Minnesota: stop spinning your wheels and go for it.
The flag of Indiana isn’t bad… it just needs a little work to overcome two of my least-favorite flag design failures: words and too many stars.
A flag shouldn’t have to rely on the name of the place being included in the design. Even putting it in small print like this smacks of a lack of confidence. No great flag has the name of the place on it. None. Delete it.
And for the love of God, what is it with states making a big deal out of how many states joined the Union before them, by littering their flags with stars to show how many? Indiana even goes to the trouble of having 13 in the outer ring (stolen from Betsy Ross), then 5 more in the inner semi-circle, plus one slightly bigger star for itself. Too much arcane symbolism is getting wrapped up here. Delete the stars… except the one for Indiana, at the top.
The lines emanating from the torch aren’t horrible, but they’re a representation of light that already has two other symbols of light on it, and I don’t see a torch having such “orderly” light rays coming from it. So take them out, and adjust the remaining elements. Unify and simplify that torch flame. Enlarge the star that represents Indiana: be proud of yourself. And if this simpler design reminds you a little of the letter “I”… that’s just your Imagination.
Let’s get this piece of crap taken care of right away.
Mississippi’s current flag suffers from a couple of problems. The first is that it’s really two flags in one: a set of stripes, with another flag stuffed into the canton (that special upper-left corner)… that’s simply bad design. The second problem is the fact that the second flag is the KKK’s beloved Confederate Battle Flag… that’s simply bad. Those don’t fly anymore in civilized places, and it’s why Mississippi needs to send this fucking thing into the garbage bin of history where it belongs. We can be better than that.
There have been a couple of replacements proposed in recent years, both aimed at fixing the second problem, and that’s great. They’re both a lot better, and I’d get behind either of them… if I wasn’t sick of flags filled with a bunch of stars that you’re expected to count, just to learn how many states there were in the U.S. after it joined.
Folks, unless you’re Delaware, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the District of Columbia, no one knows or cares what-number state you are. (Yeah, the U.S. Flag has the same problem of too many stars. We’ll get to that later.)
What we need here is a clean break from 1) a bad design and 2) bad history… something with a clean, modern look that residents could look up at with self-respect, and that visitors could look at without stopping the car and turning around out of fear. (Does Mississippi have an airport? Do tourists fly into it? Maybe they would if there wasn’t a racist battle flag greeting them when they deplaned.)
The new Mississippi flag retains the colors of the racist one, and even the motifs of a star, and a blue stripe on a red field. (I was feeling generous toward the nostalgia of Mississippians.) But this flag design turns the blue stripe into something suggesting a river, like the one that gives Mississippi its name, and which is lot better for the state’s image than the state’s history is. (I’m not a fan of initials on flags, but if you want to read this as the letter S as in MiSSiSSippi, that’s OK.)