16 December 2023

Minnesota state flag to be modernized - updated


The final design will be selected from one of the six finalists above.  The competition was open to the public both for submissions and for commentary.  The redesign was considered necessary because the old state flag, designed at the time of statehood -


- incorporates a "hot mess" of tiny symbols, including a Native American riding off into the sunset.  Many Minnesotans wanted to have a loon incorporated into the flag, but it was decided that the loon was a resident of the north part of the state, while the North Star ("L'Etoile du Nord") is more all-encompassing.  The loon may, however, be included in the upcoming redesign of the official state seal.

Addendum:  The six finalist designs have been tweaked (shape of star, size of star, shade of green, etc) by various professionals, so there are now 86 variations from which the final choice will be made.

More updates: Final design chosen (top right of the original six finalists embedded above) but still needs to be tweaked by professionals.  And the revised state seal will feature a loon and words from the Dakota language:


"A red-eyed loon poses on a Minnesota lake surrounded by pine trees, the North Star and sprigs of wild rice. Above the image are the words: "Mni Sóta Makoc̣e," Dakota for the "land where the waters reflect the sky.""

The final decision re the flag:


The three colors on the right (snow, vegetation, water) were simplified to the one for which the state wants to be known (lakes), and the shape of the iconic North Star was tweaked.  The shape of the state is retained.

Another addendum:  The Republican minority in the state governmet is "ramping up their opposition, hoping to turn anger over the redesign into a election-year vote."
Earlier this month, David Hann, the chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota, also denounced the new state flag along with Deputy Chair Donna Bergstrom, arguing that the old flag was historically significant and arguing that the DFL is on a "quest to erase our history." They're raising money by selling "don't PC our flag" and "erasing history" T-shirts on the party's website.
Because... politics.  Endless, endless partisan bullshit politics.  I wish they would quit fucking around and just get some actual work done.

29 comments:

  1. Make sure the final design of the state flag is one that school children can easily draw correctly and fully. :-)

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  2. My choice:

    Top center
    Lower left
    Lower center

    Kudos for not going red white and blue.

    Roman Mars will be pleased by all these designs.

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  3. Top left one looks the most elegant I think!

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  4. The old flag has 'em all beat. By a lot.

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  5. Is there any opportunity for public input about these finalists?

    Top left: rather nice, but there's just one design element.

    Top center: looks like a quilt.

    Top right: stodgy.

    Bottom left: doesn't seem to be in the world of flags.

    Bottom center: evokes a star rising over a horizon, my favorite.

    Bottom right: what's at the right, a person or some odd plant?

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  6. I vote YUCK. All these plain geometrical designs look like they were made with some 1980s Paint program or Google draw. There's no soul in these. I do like plain geometries for national flags as those communicate to other nations. But states should have some artisanal character to their flag and perhaps say why the state came to be.

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  7. Crowboy has it right. Ties perfectly with what I just saw today about the "KISS" principle: The design of everything is gradually being stripped down, because simple is easy & safe; the less there is, the less there is to offend or justify. But such rampant minimalism comes at a cost; our cultures are losing their uniqueness and identity.

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  8. The old flag is atrocious. It even has visible JPEG artifacts. I would have expected better of the 19th century. It needs to be updated.

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    1. I think the jpeg artefacts are the result of, well, this image being a jpeg :) But yeah, the design is pretty darn awful. As are most USA state flags, for that matter. "Seal on a bedsheet" is what Roman Mars calls these.

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    2. It's always possible to make things worse than whatever version of atrocious we may find objectionable. This ought to be on our minds as we improve stuff, often a mania driven by the egos of those few who just gotta fuck with everything. Or it's their "job" to do so.

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    3. @ Crowboy: Well, if we're gonna use terminology like that, have you seen the original state seal and compared it to the what the "designers" of the state flag have done with it? That's a proper insult to the original, that is.

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  9. It must be quickly and accurately identifiable when the states break up and hostilities begin.
    xoxoxoBruce

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  10. It's very easy to write a one-sentence put-down of something new and different. These flags were designed by actual people who feel sincere love for their home state:
    https://www.mprnews.org/story/2023/11/22/meet-3-people-whose-designs-are-finalists-for-the-new-minnesota-flag

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  11. Some thoughts about the contest:

    I think seeing all six flags side-by-side greatly diminishes their individual effects, which has little to do with their designs. Try looking at six of the “seal-central” state flags together and see if Minnesota’s still stands out to you..

    The design vision of the “Southwest Trio” (AZ, CO, NM) state flags is really validated by this contest. Way ahead of their time.

    The greatest departure here isn’t the design elements, but the color palette. There are just a couple of exceptions to the heavy reliance on red, white, and blue (with occasional yellow) among current state flags.

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  12. CGP Grey will be pleased with the final winner!


    I also like the new seal a lot, although my inner typographer does hope that they will fix the ever-so-slight misalignment of the Dakota text (the M in MNI is closer to the circle's edge than the E in MAKOCE).

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  13. I'm afraid the first thing that came mind when I saw the translation of the Dakota phrase was the old Hamms commercial: "From the land of sky-blue waters." Glad to see the wild rice included, though.
    Sandra

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  14. I find these tributes to Indians interesting. By the late 19th century, buffalo herds were reduced from around 50 million animals to a few hundred. In 1913, along comes the buffalo nickle! We're virtuous after all! Or maybe, when we have nothing to lose, we can gain even more by cultivating some version of self-affirming nostalgia. More honest to see the Indian riding away on the horse. He's at least strong and free, even as the settler plows his stolen land.

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    1. And interesting that you refer to the coin as a "buffalo nickle" rather than an "Indian head nickle." It is both.

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    2. Not that interesting! If I said "Indian head nickel" very few people would know what the heck I was talking about. Anyway, the subject is virtue signalling--or so it appears to me. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_nickel

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  15. Re the upper right winner:does the blue geometric echo the "K" in the K-mart logo?

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    1. or old Amtrak logo, FedEx logo, state flag of Ohio, any logo with an arrow stripe?

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    2. At least the state seal is simple. :-)

      That loon looks like 'shoot me in the chest, why don't you?'. :-)

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  16. That final is great!

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    1. A small thing that may have been lost – riding-into-the-sunset-wise – is that the in the former flag the Native American horseman's front horse hooves are entering the field, not receding into the sunset. Narritive jumble; maybe probably inconvenient.

      And despite the Brainerd-centered star, I just think I'm going to throw up, that K is a blue-black/black-blue angular metaphor tethered to the K-mart future which we all seem fated to share. Whatever the next Kmart may be.

      You have a fine blog Stan – first comment from a former Minnesotan.

      –GK

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  17. Hmm. Pity they decided to lose the three color bands in the end. The all-blue design looks a bit like a swimming pool logo to me. Still, I think it's way better than the one with the seal.

    (Thus far the two cents of a European whose entire knowledge about Minnesota is based on having watched Fargo.)

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  18. Right-wingers are melting down over the chosen design citing it is like a Somalian flag. 🥱🤷🏽‍♂️.

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  19. I am waiting to see the flag waving against the blue sky, waiting for those days when the blue of the sky will match either of the flags blue colors!

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