Thursday, November 19, 2009

Changing the State Flags

Since my entry into the America's finest vexillologcial association, NAVA (North American Vexillological Association). I have become aware that although the charter of this group is dedicated to the objective and scientific study of flags, but there is a strong advocacy to changing a specific type of state flag jokingly called S.O.B.'s which stands for "Seals on a Bed Sheet." Reason being that flags with this type of design are considered 'ugly' and ineffective vexillogical displays.

Why the effort to change flags? Isn't this an objective scientific association? Is their a group within NAVA that advocates maintaining flags as they are?

To the left is the flag of Michigan, known in vexillological circles as a S.O.B., because the Michigan State seal is the primary inspiration for the Michigan Flag. In vernacular S.O.B. means 'Son of a Bitch' or 'Son of a Bastard.'

Personally, I think there are reasons for the numerous state flags that simply utilize the state seals. Most of the so called "ugly" flags tend to come from states that supported the Union during the Civil War. On the other hand most of the states that formed up the Confederacy have bold abstract banners, that seem more like national flags.

Southern Flags are more intense and nationalistic. While the Northern State flags look like county or local community flags. The effort to change the SOB flags dishonors the men who fought in blue to preserve the Union.

Southern States earned their right to have powerful abstract flags, while Northern States have more subtle designs that do not compete with the national banner. I like to think that the Northern States are dressed in tuxes so the federal banner can shine like a woman's dress. It is a healthy contrast.

Keeping the US State flags as they are also preserves history.

The Pennsylvania State Flag

My home state of Pennsylvania is considered to have an 'S.O.B. flag.' I have always loved the Pennsylvania State flag and when my flag was dishonored in such a way I was saddened by this disrespectful title bestowed up my state's majestic banner.

This honorable state banner deserves more respect than being called an S.O.B. Rather it is a majestic artful flag akin to the styles of heraldic knights in shining armor.

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