Monday, August 1, 2011

New Flag for Kentucky

Another seal on blue flag.  Quick, we need to plan a "You're not original" parade!:

As this flag style goes, Kentucky may be one of my favorites.  Of course, that's like saying the best smelling cow pie, but you know what I mean.  The imagery is at least slightly original and rather than generic depictions of virtue or justice, they've got a frontiersman shaking hands with a city guy (or statesmen, if you believe Kentucky's description).  Of course, all the writing is unnecessary and I'm not a fan of the goldenrod on the lower half.  A flag that promotes allergies is no friend of mine.

According to Kentucky, the people on the flag are not meant to be anyone specific, but the popular idea is that they are Daniel Boone and Henry Clay.  Despite his importance to early America and the events leading to the Civil War, Henry Clay isn't very well known to Americans today.  Daniel Boone is another story and is far more famous (though he is often confused with Davy Crockett).  Boone was a frontiersman, most notable for helping blaze the trail through the Cumberland Gap, leading settlers from Virginia to Kentucky, often breaking British laws in the years before independence to do so.  The thing that really makes him famous was his iconic headgear: the coonskin cap:

This is the second time I've used a hat as the basis for a flag (see Illinois).  I don't count my attempt at a South Dakota flag, because the more I think about it, the more I dislike that one.

The design is highly stylized, reminiscent of the flags which use basic shapes and colors to portray their geography, like The Gambia.  The color choices are meant only to portray a coonskin cap and to be distinguishable from each other.  I actually took the shades from the original Kentucky flag; the tan from the frontiersman's buckskin, the darker brown from the statesman's hair.  I suppose if forced to I could come up with some symbolism for these two colors, but not everything has to stand for something else.  Well, I guess in flags that's usually how it works, so how light brown can represent horses, another thing Kentucky is famous for, and the darker brown can be for darker colored horses.  Nailed it.

One final note, according to historians, Boone never wore a coonskin cap.  But when has what actually happened in history ever stopped Kentucky?

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