Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New Flag for Alabama

At first glance, Alabama's flag looks pretty good.  It has clean primary colors, it isn't cluttered by seals or text, it even has a strong connection to Alabama's history:

I'll even give Alabama credit for being able to hark back to the Confederacy, but doing so in a way that isn't as blatantly offensive as Mississippi's flag or Georgia's old flag (It is reminiscent of an old Spanish flag too, but fewer people today have issues with Spain).  However, it is also identical to Saint Patrick's flag, the one which was incorporated into (and still is a part of) the flag of the United Kingdom.  I'd put up the Irish flag, but it is exactly the same.

Another strike against this flag is it's similarity to the flag of Florida, the only difference being that Florida has the state seal at the center.  This isn't too surprising, both are drawing inspiration from the Confederate battle flag and the Cross of Burgundy, used by the Spanish Empire which controlled areas of both states:

Sadly, Alabama can't really draw on state flags it used in the past.  The state flag that was used back in the 1860's would fit right in with most of the state flags of today; it was blue, it had text, and it had an image of justice with a sword (not very Alabama specific).  It's reverse had an interesting image of a rattlesnake under a cotton plant, but the only version I've found didn't look very good and I'm not a graphic artist, so I'll have to come up with something else:

The following is the flag of Montgomery, Alabama.  It recalls the Confederate past, but doesn't use the overt symbolism of Saint Andrew's Cross (a good example of this in use today is the flag of Arkansas.  Compare it to the CSA battle flag and you'll see what I mean).  It also utilizes gray, another reference to the CSA, but one that is little used:

I like this flag, but it needs a little tweaking to make it fit for the whole state.  First of all, the words have to go, leaving us with the problem of the stars.  This flag has eleven, representing the number of states in the Confederacy, but this isn't so bad, as Alabama was the 22nd state, and with a quick doubling, it will become more Alabama-appropriate.  I'm also a fan of the laurel, even if it is a little busy, but it to has to go.  Here's what I've come up with:

This flag evokes the state's history without being too offensive (this is for Alabama, after all), the 22 stars reflect the state's position, and it retains the color scheme of the Montgomery, which I thought worked well.  Plus, it's a nice twist on the typical tri-color.