Massachusetts State Flag (we need a better state flag)

BronsonShore

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Ah, so apparently the yellow represents land and the blue the sea, with the two halves of the flag designed to echo the way the state approaches the Atlantic. I love it; I'd take this as the state flag tomorrow and then immediately buy a bunch of hats and shirts with the design.
 

JumboBuc

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Flag redesigns are always such a challenge because designing a good flag is legitimately very hard. It's easy to say an existing flag is bad, it's MUCH harder to come to a consensus on what to replace it with (see: New Zealand).

Part of this is the extent to which the merits of any flag are inseparable from its history. Any existing flag will have history on its side (unless that history comes be considered a distinct negative, as with Mississippi) while any new flag will, by definition, have no history.

The best case scenario for a flag replacement is one like Maine's, where the current S.O.B. flag actually has less history than the original 1901 flag that many (including me) want to replace it. This also gives legitimacy to the Green Mountain Boys Flag for Vermont and the unoficial New England flag (or "Bunker Hill Flag"). Massachusetts, unfortunately, doesn't really have a viable historic flag that can replace the current one, so we're left with having to pull one together from scratch.

If it were up to me I'd tweak the Seal of Massachusetts and Coat of Arms to make it less racist but still keep the same colors, general shape, and some of the imagery. Private entities tweak their crests / logos / marks all the time while still keeping the same overall colors and look and feel.

The flag is a much tougher redesign task, but I'd like to see the same shades of blue and yellow kept on a white field. These have become culturally established as MA colors (see, the BAA or Mass.gov or even the Red Sox "City Connect" unis this year) and they work; no point in changing them. I'm far from talented enough to come up with an actual good flag design, but I just hope everyone in the process understands that "seals on bedsheets" (S.O.B.s) do NOT make good flags! Ideally the seal is one thing and the flag is a total 'nother.

(Oh, and all of this goes for the Boston flag too)
 

BronsonShore

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Flag redesigns are always such a challenge because designing a good flag is legitimately very hard. It's easy to say an existing flag is bad, it's MUCH harder to come to a consensus on what to replace it with (see: New Zealand).

Part of this is the extent to which the merits of any flag are inseparable from its history. Any existing flag will have history on its side (unless that history comes be considered a distinct negative, as with Mississippi) while any new flag will, by definition, have no history.

The best case scenario for a flag replacement is one like Maine's, where the current S.O.B. flag actually has less history than the original 1901 flag that many (including me) want to replace it. This also gives legitimacy to the Green Mountain Boys Flag for Vermont and the unoficial New England flag (or "Bunker Hill Flag"). Massachusetts, unfortunately, doesn't really have a viable historic flag that can replace the current one, so we're left with having to pull one together from scratch.

If it were up to me I'd tweak the Seal of Massachusetts and Coat of Arms to make it less racist but still keep the same colors, general shape, and some of the imagery. Private entities tweak their crests / logos / marks all the time while still keeping the same overall colors and look and feel.

The flag is a much tougher redesign task, but I'd like to see the same shades of blue and yellow kept on a white field. These have become culturally established as MA colors (see, the BAA or Mass.gov or even the Red Sox "City Connect" unis this year) and they work; no point in changing them. I'm far from talented enough to come up with an actual good flag design, but I just hope everyone in the process understands that "seals on bedsheets" (S.O.B.s) do NOT make good flags! Ideally the seal is one thing and the flag is a total 'nother.

(Oh, and all of this goes for the Boston flag too)
Honestly, I would be thrilled if they went with the design used to be on the reverse. This is a great simple design and it solves the history problem you bring up. Make the tree yellow to stick with the same color scheme and I think this is a real winner:

 
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Brattle Loop

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MrDee12345

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I see that most of the new flags honor the natural environment that make Mass great, such as the water, flora, mountains beaches, etc.

But those are natural to the area and they don't represent our accomplishments as a state. Could there be a design that represent our high standard of education or our first the nation reputation for many causes?
Variant with star:
View attachment 17321

Variant without star:
View attachment 17322
I'm not really a fan of these two. My issue was was never with the state seal itself, but the seal surrounded by nothing but white. Mass simply has a boring flag. I like some of the ones I found on reddit that I posted earlier. I could see people waving those at a Bruins game, not another boring white flag.
 

Brattle Loop

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I see that most of the new flags honor the natural environment that make Mass great, such as the water, flora, mountains beaches, etc.

But those are natural to the area and they don't represent our accomplishments as a state. Could there be a design that represent our high standard of education or our first the nation reputation for many causes?


I'm not really a fan of these two. My issue was was never with the state seal itself, but the seal surrounded by nothing but white. Mass simply has a boring flag. I like some of the ones I found on reddit that I posted earlier. I could see people waving those at a Bruins game, not another boring white flag.
I don't dislike them (I'm kind of a fan of the simplicity of the blue-on-white) but the designs I posted aren't really what I would necessarily suggest either. I was responding to BronsonShore's post suggesting the gold tree on blue shield on white and just threw it together to have a visual example. (The version with the star was just because the star is on the current one.)

I would agree that the state flag is not the most visually interesting. I just don't think that's a very big deal. I do think it should be changed to remove the elements that people find offensive, but I personally would prefer something with some visual continuity instead of some gaudy monstrosity like might get picked if there was to be a large-scale change.
 

shawn

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I too would love to see all of the New England states work a similar or ideally identical element into each of their flags. The pine tree is a stretch for Rhode Island, but it's still great.

May not be appropriate for this thread, so please feel free to shut me down: I've long had a fascination with the notion of a North Atlantic Union ala author Richard Morgan's vision of the near-future. New York, New Jersey, New England, and Atlantic Canada have merged with the United Kingdom after the US splits itself up. Its flag incorporates elements from the flags of the Dominion of New England (the pine tree), New York and New Jersey (an orange field), the Maritimes (a blue diagonal cross) and the Union Jack. Must look pretty ugly, now that I'm typing this all out.

But I sure wouldn't mind a North Atlantic Union.
 

Digital_Islandboy

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I too would love to see all of the New England states work a similar or ideally identical element into each of their flags. The pine tree is a stretch for Rhode Island, but it's still great.

May not be appropriate for this thread, so please feel free to shut me down: I've long had a fascination with the notion of a North Atlantic Union ala author Richard Morgan's vision of the near-future. New York, New Jersey, New England, and Atlantic Canada have merged with the United Kingdom after the US splits itself up. Its flag incorporates elements from the flags of the Dominion of New England (the pine tree), New York and New Jersey (an orange field), the Maritimes (a blue diagonal cross) and the Union Jack. Must look pretty ugly, now that I'm typing this all out.

But I sure wouldn't mind a North Atlantic Union.
Why wouldn't New York go onwards back with Netherlands? As it was a/k/a New Amsterdam?
 

shawn

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Why wouldn't New York go onwards back with Netherlands? As it was a/k/a New Amsterdam?
Not sure, but the author is British, and there doesn't seem to be an independent Netherlands. It's part of a federalized Europe. The other choice for NY was to stick around with the American rump state, which has also lost the entire West Coast. In that context, it seems like a good move on NY's part.
 

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