Earlier this year Nebraska State Sen. Burke Harr of Omaha introduced LR 3, which is a legislative resolution to form a task force to redesign Nebraska’s State flag. The resolution was referred to the Reference Committee and was laid over for next year’s Legislative Session.
Nebraska’s State flag has not been getting much love and appreciation lately from the North American Vexillogical Association. They are an organization which ranks flags, and they frequently rank Nebraska’s flag among the five worst state flags in the United States.
The North American Vexillogical Association has offered four reasons why our flag ranks so low. First, they say the Great Seal of Nebraska is too complex to be viewed from a distance. Second, they believe Nebraska’s flag is indistinguishable from 19 other state flags, which also use a gold seal with a blue background. Third, they think references on the flag to the 19th Century detract from the flag’s timelessness. Fourth, they say the writing on our flag detracts from its symbolism.
In order to help demonstrate his point that the Nebraska State flag stands in need of being redesigned, Sen. Harr had officials at the State Capitol building in Lincoln fly the flag upside down for a period of one full week. Apparently, nobody ever noticed that the flag was flying upside down.
Another reason Sen. Harr would like to re-design our flag is because he says nobody ever wears it. The Nebraska State Flag, for instance, is seldom ever displayed on baseball caps, T-shirts, or backpacks. Instead, Sen. Harr would like to re-create a new kind of flag, which would be contemporary, hip, and wearable. He also wants a flag which would distinguish our state from our surrounding states.
I am against LR 3. The main reason I stand against LR 3 is because the project of redesigning our State flag would cost the tax payers of Nebraska approximately $250,000.00. I believe the cost is simply too high. I believe this is a time in our State’s history when lawmakers ought to concern themselves with saving money and cutting spending, not looking for new ways to spend it.
To me, there also seems to be something superficially vain about a state spending a quarter of a million dollars of tax payer monies to redesign a flag. Is flag fashion really so important? LR 3 is nothing short of a bad episode of Project Runway, where the contestants are charged with the task of redesigning the Nebraska State flag and incorporating into their line of clothing for Fashion Week.
Does the opinion of the North American Vexillogical Association really matter so much? Sen. Harr cited their four reasons for redesigning the flag in his resolution. But, why must we cave in to these passive and subtle demands from North America’s #1 flag police?
According to Title 4, of the United States Code, Chapter 1, the American “flag should never be used as wearing apparel.” To wear the flag is to disrespect it. So, why is it acceptable to use our Nebraska State flag as wearing apparel? To the contrary, I believe it is disrespectful to our flag to redesign it so that it may be worn on hats, clothing, and even backpacks.
The Nebraska State flag is an honorable piece of handiwork handed down to us from our Forefathers. Instead of criticism, it deserves our deepest respect. As we salute and honor the American flag this Independence Day, let us also remember to admire and give homage to the flag which represents our great State, and let us continue to do so, especially throughout the remainder of this sesquicentennial year. One last thing, please make sure you never fly it upside down.