• Guest Optimist

New York Should Have a New Flag

Updated: Jun 30

The festive display of state flags on Main Street in our village have been an unmistakable signal that we are in the season of patriotic holidays. The flags are put out before Memorial Day, flying high for Flag Day and retired sometime after Independence Day.

"It's a sign that summer is soon upon us." Say local residents. "When the state flags go up you know it will soon be Memorial Day, which is the unofficial start of summer."


Several states have adopted new flags in recent years. This correspondent believes that New York State should follow suit. Dare I say it? The flag of the great state of New York State is kind of lame.


Did you notice where the New York State flag is displayed before you saw it in the photo attached? Probably not. There are no less than eighteen very similar state flags that are blue with some kind of state seal or coat of arms on it. The flags of Oklahoma, Kansas and several others at least have the name of the state in big letters. The New York flag just says, "Excelsior", whatever that means.

My personal favorite flags are for Maryland, Arizona, and Ohio. How do you suppose those states got such cool flags? Why did other states settle for such dull banners? Not that they are dull states or anything. I am not trying to pick a fight here. Ohio tends to stand out because it is the only state colors that isn't rectangular. I would imagine this makes it somewhat troublesome for flag manufacturers.


I recall reading a story when I was in elementary school about a contest they had for the Alaska flag 32 years before the 49th state was admitted to the union in. It was designed by a kid, 13 year old Benny Benson, in 1927. He did a nice job of it. Maybe something like a design contest would work for New York.


"Excelsior", I have been informed means "higher", unless you are referring to curly wood shavings that were used to pack fragile things before they invented Styrofoam peanuts. If that is really our state motto, we should live up to it by replacing our boring old state flag with something exciting and worthy of our beautiful, dynamic state.


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