Oregonian Hates Oregon State (Flag)

October 22nd, 2008

The Oregonian, a statewide newspaper, has developed a contest for a redesign of the state’s flag. Seriously? No, I mean really? Do people think that it needs a face lift?

(Image from The Oregonian)

You can call me old fashioned but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And I’ll be the first to tell you that the state’s flag ain’t broke. There some things that are better left untouched, and the best known symbol for this great state is fine just the way it is. Some of you history buffs or flag enthusiasts may know that Oregon’s flag is the only one with a different design on each side. Michael Milstein from the Oregonian complains that the flag is “roughly twice the cost of other state flags because of its unusual two-sided design.” Hmmmm…. Cry me a river. I’d like to think the sentence should be that the flag is “roughly twice the VALUE because of its UNIQUE two-sided design.” This is the beaver state after all (and beaver nation, btw 🙂 ) and dam right (pun intended) the beaver should remain. What’s Milstein’s real deal? What are his motives? I smell a duck.

The article mentions that “Gov. Ted Kulongoski loves the present flag, price and all, says his spokeswoman, Anna Richter Taylor. He has heard no one complain about it and will not consider a new design, she says. He has more important priorities.” Enough said.

Check out the comment section of the aritcle. Got an opinion of your own that you’d like to share? Sound off below.


26 responses to “Oregonian Hates Oregon State (Flag)”

  1. Kaye Mom of 2 OSU Kids says:


  2. Matt says:

    Thanks for the comment, Kaye! I agree 100%!

  3. Bill says:

    Our flag is a “seal on a bedsheet” like most other state flags. It is not distinguishable from any distance. I welcome an update.

  4. Jordans says:

    I think they should keep it the same… Its perfectly fine.

  5. James says:

    @ Bill:

    Oregon has the only two sided flag amongst the 50 states. Does that really qualify as “indistinguishable”?

  6. Blake says:

    Little known fact:

    The original State of Oregon flag hangs in the library on the campus of Eastern Oregon University.

  7. The Oregon flag is one of the stupidest ideas in vexillography I have ever seen. TWO sides? Although having two sides to a flag is unique, it’s extremely expensive, and stupid! And they had to waste the front side with one of America’s ugliest seals? I am a member of the North American Vexillological Association (a bunch of guys who like flags) and this flag violates all of our Good Flag principles. If the Oregonians don’t want to be laughed at by other states with better flags (like my home, New Mexico), then it needs to be changed. Actually, I don’t care what the governor thinks. It definitely needs to be changed. 😉 No lettering, either! Stupid boring idea.

  8. Formy says:

    Well, that would be a good question for a quiz game. 🙂 I did not know that Oregon has a flag that is diffrent on each side. Regards from Europe!

  9. James says:

    @ Peter…

    Yeah, but going back and looking at your blog, you think the U.S. flag is terrible because it’s too complicated.

    You have to understand…Aesthetic principles exist as a guideline, not to rule your existence. Sometimes the symbolism and meaning overrides the “vexillographic” sensibilities.

  10. Matt says:

    There’s a North American Vexillological Association?

  11. Joan says:

    Hi there,
    Why so threatened by an invitation to see if Oregonians might come up with better flag? If someone has a great idea, maybe it will go somewhere. If nobody does, it won’t. What’s the harm in asking?

    It is interesting that your screed leaves out many details. Such as the sad fact that the high price of the current flag discourages citizens from buying it. Such as the fact that the weight of the two-sided flag (basically two flags sewn together) makes the beaver impossible to see much of the time because it doesn’t fly very well. Such as the fact that it was designed by politicians in Salem in 1925 with no input from the public.

    Nobody hates the current flag. Without a doubt, the beaver is the best part because it’s unique, even if it looks from a distance like an overweight cat. That doesn’t mean Oregonians can’t possibly improve it. In fact, many of the best new ideas we’ve received so far enlarge the beaver (you’ll be happy to know!) so it is much more prominent and easier to distinguish.

    The idea was to get Oregonians thinking about what makes the state special to them and how they would symbolize it, given that next year is the state’s 150th birthday. It has. We care about getting people interested in their state, not so much whether there’s a new flag or not.

    It is curious that the reactions we’ve received fall basically into two categories:

    1. How dare you contemplate any new ideas.

    2. This sounds fun. It will be interesting to see what ideas people come up with.

    But like institutions of higher learning, we just want to foster new ideas, not be threatened by them.

  12. Web Designer says:

    I completely agree with you. I think the flag is perfectly fine the way it is. Just because the design is a bit old doesn’t mean anything. It is historical and very unique. I don’t think there is anything wrong with having a contest to see who comes up with the best idea, as long as they don’t literally replace the current flag’s design.

  13. Kyle says:

    I’m an Oregonian myself and why do people from other states have to hate or reject other state’s flags? Seriously, come on we are suppost to be a united country and why should it matter what another state’s flag looks like? I personally like the two sides. Yeah it might be more expensive to make and purchase but get over it! People say our seal is ugly well guess what its not theirs so it shouldn’t matter! All I have to say is I like the flag the way it is so leave it be its nice and simple but yet unique with the double sides.

  14. USAMilitaryRocks! says:

    Don’t you dare change our flag…it reflects our Oregon HISTORY…Milstein…we see you trying to waddle up on this one a mile away…quack, quack! Stop trying to shake your tail feathers at us…this will always be ‘BEAVER NATION!’…:)

    HOOrah for the Beavers!

  15. James Too says:

    At this point no one has given a compelling reason to change the flag. With that said – I do not mind looking at new ideas. But, I would like to be assured the people driving this change and those submitting ideas be life-long or long-term Oregonians. I take pride in being from and living in Oregon.

  16. I think the best step into any change is to embrace the past while adding whatever they feel is necessary. This will keep the historical representation of the flag, yet add whatever unique characteristics they are looking for.

  17. John says:

    You nay-sayers need to relax. Nobody is going to change the current Oregon flag without Oregonians having a say in it…unlike in 1925 when the current flag was designed and approved by the legislature. Besides, it’s not an either-or proposition. There’s absolutely no reason Oregon cannot have more than one official flag. Many nations do. The United States technically has 27. When we change the number of stars on the flag (when we add states) the law making the new flag official does not make the older flags unofficial. So all those 48/46/33/13/etc. star flags are just as official as the current 50 star flag (and due the same respect and handling).
    So we can come up with a “new and improved” flag for Oregon and still keep the old one.
    If anything, sales of the current flag might go up as a result of this project, whether we approve a new flag or not. Besides, the stated goal of the Oregonian contest is to stimulate discussion of the 150th anniversary of statehood. If we get a new flag out of it, that’s just frosting on the cake.

  18. Tyrell B. Vance says:

    Peter Klumpenhower, Vxg. –take your vexillography opinion and go back to New Mexico with high minded attitude.

  19. David says:

    Flags are a historical part of our history, and through out the world they were changed most of the time by Communist Socialist ideals or Muslim extremist, especially if you look at the selection in the oregonian they look real plain and socialist looking. to change it would do our forefathers an injustice, and it reminds us when you look at it the hardship they went through so that we could enjoy this great historical state we live in. I do feel strongly that we could add something on the one side of the flag that would acknowledge the Native Americans, after all it was originally their land!

  20. Randy says:

    Hey, David, can you please describe what a “socialist looking” flag would look like? And which of the Oregonian entries show “Communist Socialist ideals”? Since you seem to be a history and poli-sci major why don’t you inform the rest of us so we can spot the Muslim extremists among the entries.

  21. James says:

    @ David:

    Just wanted to let you know that we approved this comment because we make a policy to only filter comments for inappropriate language (and spam, of course). However, there is so much wrong with your comment with respect to socialism and “Muslim Extremists” I couldn’t even begin to address it. I would highly recommend that you do some research in an unbiased venue before you continue to push that agenda here or anywhere else.


  22. Sue says:

    Hey, thanks for sharing all of these opinions. On first glance of the new flag submissions in the Oregonian today, I was not happy with the idea of changing the flag. I am a traditionalist for sure.

    However, now that I know more about the two sided feature I am leaning toward the redesign. It is important to take into consideration how the flag appears when flying from a pole. Most of the time people will view the flag from some distance. If the graphics featured on the flag are small, they will not be seen at all when the flag is flying (current beaver, case in point).

    Additionally, the state seal is used as a “logo” primarily on writtern documents, stationary, etc. It is displayed in bronze form in the capital and other government buildings. I question whether it needs to be on the flag as the detail is difficult to see when viewing the flag flying as stated above.

    My vote would be a flag that is simple in design, represents the state colors, and primary symbols such as the beaver, and looks distinctive when flying. I like the idea of displaying the date when Oregon became a part of the union.

  23. James R says:

    Our flag is awesome. Its unique and I wish I had a bunch of Oregon flag stickers to put every where.

  24. latscha says:

    i think it sucks i have to use it for my state project

  25. latscha says:

    bla bla bla bla it all sucks i like Oregon but i have to do state projects on it

  26. MikeHass says:

    It’s not that bad, the article is lame. Atleast our flag isn’t as bad as Ohio’s. If you dont know what it looks like, theres a pic on this page– state flags

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