Unless you’ve been made to go to city courthouses all across the country, there is a fair chance that you’re not familiar with that many state flags. Anyone who is, though, would no doubt notice the wildly divergent styles, colors, and components of all the flags. Unfortunately, the discord among these flags is currently being echoed by rancor among the representatives of their states, as evidenced by the recent shutdown. One man is hoping to bring the states together, though, flags first.
Ed Mitchell is a designer who recently decided to blend together his patriotism and his sense of aesthetic with a massive undertaking–a major overhaul of all 50 state flags. It was no simple beautification project, though. These new versions finally look unified, and by making them that way, the designer is setting a subtle example for congress.
While some flags, many of which originated near the 19th century, don’t look terribly different than they did before, Mitchell took a scorched earth approach to others and completely did away with much of the originals. For instance, some Southern states used to have elements of the Confederacy worked into their design, despite the fact that all these years later some see them as symbols of hate.
The new flags have a sleek, minimalist look, with more than a thread of continuity running through them. Aside from matching in red, white, and blue, stars and stripes feature prominently in the new look, along with other U.S. synecdoche like the eagle and Lady Liberty. Of course, Mitchell’s flags also reflect the individuality of their states—like Conneticut’s grapevine or Montana’s mountains. Even though the shutdown is over, these flags are a lesson in cooperative compromise that congress should take to heart.
Have a look at some of the old and new flags side by side in the slides above.
H/t to Animal NY