Why do we need a new Minnesota state flag?

There are many reasons:

  1. You can’t see its details from afar: everything is invisible because the state seal is too detailed. From only a few yards away, the details on the Minnesota flag disappear. Only from close quarters are any details visible.

    Old state flag, flipped and inverted
    The old state flag, as often flown. Can you tell it’s flipped and inverted? Most can’t…
  2. Few can remember its details: they’re too complicated to be recalled or sketched.

    Can you sketch it from memory?
  3. It is confused with more than twenty other state flags: all blue with a seal.

    Blue Seals on a Bed-sheet
    Can you tell which is Minnesota’s?
  4. Everything is backwards on the flag’s reverse: pictures, dates, & slogans (“atosenniM”).

    Old state flag, flipped and inverted
    Old state flag, as viewed if the wind blows right to left, which it sometime does…
  5. Its design is not versatile: the flag can’t be reproduced well on miniature items or in the largest flag sizes; and it appears crooked when hung vertically.
  6. It uses tiny pictures and dates instead of bold color patterns and symbols, like those found in good flag designs.
  7. It repeats itself: the north-star appears twice (the motto and topmost star); statehood twice (“1858” and 19 stars); and it is even stamped with the name “Minnesota” (which shouldn’t be necessary if the design is a good one).
  8. Its symbols have been controversial: the seal originally symbolized the white man’s takeover of the frontier from the Native Americans.
  9. It is time-bound to the 19th century: its tradition is fading, not growing.
  10. A seal is meant for documents, not flags: the seal’s crowded details can only be seen up-close, because it was designed like a portrait.

What does good design look like?

There are five principles of good flag design*:

  1. Keep It Simple. The flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory…
  2. Use Meaningful Symbolism. The flag’s images, colors, or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes…
  3. Use 2 or 3 Basic Colors. Limit the number of colors on the flag to three which contrast well and come from the standard color set…
  4. No Lettering or Seals. Never use writing on any kind or an organization’s seal…
  5. Be Distinctive or Be Related. Avoid duplicating other flags, but use similarities to show connections…

*Ted Kaye, North American Vexillological Association (NAVA), “Good Flag, Bad Flag

Ready for a new Minnesota Flag?