Monday, March 26, 2012

New Flag for Connecticut

This week we'll look at the flag of Connecticut:

Yet another seal-on-blue with text and lots of fussy details.  The blue is a lighter shade than most (at least in this version, I have also seen it with a darker shade), but otherwise is virtually indistinguishable from others.  The grapevines are meant to represent either the first towns of Connecticut Colony or the three colonies that began in the area that is now Connecticut (Saybrook, New Haven, and Connecticut).  I toyed with the idea of enlarging the grapevines and re-centering them on just a blue background, but I wasn't able to simplify them to my satisfaction.  When I tried to remove the detail but retain the basic shape, I just ended up with a purple and brown design that looked more like a "$" than anything.

The words and seal would have to be removed, of course, and following my experiments with the grapevines, I decided to get rid of them too.  Luckily for me, Connecticut has another popular symbol, the charter oak.  Back in the 1680's, James II tried to consolidate his North American colonies to make them easier to manage and thus ordered that the colonies of New England (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) be combined into a Dominion of New England.  This was not a popular idea as each of the colonies valued their individuality, and when the new royal governor came to collect Connecticut's original royal charter to symbolically destroy it, it was hidden from him in the trunk of a large oak tree, which came to be known as the charter oak.  The dominion was so unpopular, it only lasted three years.  The tree stood well into the 19th century and was even used on the back of Connecticut's state quarter in 1999.

If I were a better artist, or perhaps more skilled with Microsoft Paint, I would have created a better charter oak image for the flag, something along the lines of the palmetto that South Carolina uses.  Since I can't though, I just took the tree image from the flag of Oakland, California, figuring that a city called OAK-land would probably use an oak.  And besides, few people can tell deciduous trees apart in real life, let alone when they're only stylized representations on a flag.  I also added a yellow border to make the background more interesting. 

In the end though, I couldn't decide between a green tree or a yellow one.  I'm leaning toward the yellow, but only because it keeps the flag to two colors.  I'll leave it to others to choose between them:

The yellow used is the same shade that is present in the current flag, the green though is darker than the current grapevine leaves.  I found the lighter green was not well defined on the blue background.


  1. A flag with two colors is a excellent deal, but I don't know... I'm with the green tree, just because of a naturalistic question. Lebanon, Norfolk, your proposal to Oregon, their trees are ever green.

  2. Blue and gold. Or maybe a white tree? Blue and green are not contrasts enough unless blue goes lighter and green darker. Or maybe a beige or buff tree?

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