maandag 26 november 2012

Washington State Flag Redesign

A number of sites have sprung up to 'redesign' the flags of the states of the United States. An example is the hilarious Your State Flag Stinks. US states' flags are usually awful. They consist of a plain field, with the (usually equally awful) state seal in the center.

To me, one of the more baffling ones is the flag of Washington state. Washington's face features prominently on the seal, and therefore on the flag. Kim Il-Sung, you say? No comment.

Paradoxically, the flag of Washington DC is considered America's best flag. It's a heraldic banner of Washington's personal coat of arms, which is elegant and simple.

I decided to take on the state flag of Washington. I think Washington's arms are not exhausted yet as a source of good flag design. And probably a flag based on his arms would resonate with Washington's inhabitants (a good symbol needs a good story, I suppose).
Washington State Flag Redesign (Mon)

The first idea I had is completely counter-intuitive. I took Washington's coat of arms, translated it into a square (Dutch flag tradition dictates shields should be avoided on flags), tilted it, and put it in the center of the existing green cloth. I think the result is reminiscent of Japanese flag design. If you find it revolting, I'll completely accept that. Yet for some reason I think it's irresistible.

Anyway, now for my REAL proposal. Let's keep the green. Washington calls itself The Evergreen State, anyway. I took the red bars and stars of the arms, bordered them white, placed them on the green. I centered the design towards the hoist (as I think a good flag should be), hence the stars next to the mast, rather than at the top, as in the District of Columbia flag.

Washington State Flag Redesign (Heraldic Flag)
So, this isn't strictly a heraldic banner. But the reference to the Washington arms is obvious, yet it's distinct from DC's flag. The whole is simple yet feels quite American, I guess.

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