Monday, March 5, 2012

New Flag for Pennsylvania

I went to college up in Pennsylvania and grew used to seeing their flag fairly often.  For some reason, I often got into arguments with a friend of mine over the identity of said flag.  She, a native of the Pittsburgh area, would claim that the flag we saw was that of New York.  I don't know why she thought that, maybe she just wished PA had a better flag or it was a weird memory thing, but it was a long running dispute between the two of us.  I'm not sure where I was going with that story, except maybe to point out the "danger" involved in not having a recognizable state flag, so here's what I'm talking about:


It's just a seal on dark blue, so there's not much else to say.  The horses are neat, I guess, but although text isn't great at relaying tone, I hope my extreme indifference and resignation to this type of design is being felt. 

This flag is boring.  I could go into further detail, but anyone who has read any of my other posts can probably identify why.

Pennsylvania is one of the original thirteen colonies, with a rich history including such luminaries as Ben Franklin, Thaddeus Stevens, and James Buchanan (I don't actually consider Buchanan to be a luminary, I think he was one the worst presidents America has ever had, but he was from Pennsylvania).  As such you would think they could come up with an interesting flag design, but as the above image shows, you'd be wrong.

In thinking about a new design for PA, I tried to identify symbols that were unique to the state.  The one I kept coming back to was the Keystone.  Pennsylvania is often referred to as the Keystone State, and as it is a simple, straightforward design, it should be easy to incorporate.  One example I found of this was made by VoronX over at the Flag Forum site:


My favorite part of this design is the diagonal stripe, which mimic the way the Appalachian Mountains run diagonally through the state.  Blue for the rivers, lakes, and that tiny corner that could be said to be touching the Atlantic, black for coal and industry, and green for agriculture.  Using the template of St. Paul, Minnesota's flag, here's what I've developed:



I've put two designs up because I couldn't decide between them.  I like the idea of just blue, yellow, and black on the first flag; it provides decent contrast.  I also like the addition of green to the bottom design, though that may just be because I like green in general.  The star doesn't have any specific PA meaning, I just thought it breaks up the design without being too busy.  The placement of the keystone was also deliberate, with just a small area of blue spilling over.

On a personal note, I just noticed that I've been working on this blog for a year now, so happy blog-birthday to me! 

9 comments:

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  2. More than sixty flags in a year is a lot of work, happy birthday to the blog!

    About the post, it's hard to decide between the two designs, but I'd probably choice the second, because the first is very resembling to St. Paul's flag.

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    1. Thanks, though to be fair, there are several posts in there where I just talk about flags I like without making changes. They probably shouldn't count.

      The more I think about this design, the more I tend to agree with you. It's just a shame we have cities who are better at flag designs than entire states.

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    2. I think the great matter is about the way the flags are choiced: city flags, usually, are in more independent competitions, so the designers have more freedom to design them. Result: no seals on blue background.

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    3. I absolutely agree. I suppose it is much easier to pick a unique/interesting flag when all you need is the support of 5 or 10 people on a city council or even just the mayor than it is to get a design past a whole state legislature.

      Some of my favorite city flags are Des Moines, Iowa; Richmond, Virginia; and St. Louis, Missouri. Tampa, Florida also has a really weird one. At some point in the future I should do a post about them since I so often use them for inspiration.

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