Why do we need a new Minnesota state flag?
There are many reasons:
- 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.
- Few can remember its details: they’re too complicated to be recalled or sketched.
- It is confused with more than twenty other state flags: all blue with a seal.
- Everything is backwards on the flag’s reverse: pictures, dates, & slogans (“atosenniM”).
- 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.
- It uses tiny pictures and dates instead of bold color patterns and symbols, like those found in good flag designs.
- 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).
- Its symbols have been controversial: the seal originally symbolized the white man’s takeover of the frontier from the Native Americans.
- It is time-bound to the 19th century: its tradition is fading, not growing.
- 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*:
- Keep It Simple. The flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory…
- Use Meaningful Symbolism. The flag’s images, colors, or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes…
- 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…
- No Lettering or Seals. Never use writing on any kind or an organization’s seal…
- 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”