There are two primary factors driving the campaign for new state flags across the U.S., design and symbolism.
Design can in turn be subdivided into aesthetics and number of colors.
The greater the number of colors, the more expensive a flag is to manufacture.
Many vexillologists suggest that five colors is just about the limit. Some of the finest state flags (e.g. New Mexico, Alaska, South Carolina) have just two colors. Other popular designs (e.g. Texas and Arizona) have three.
Washington’s state flag actually doesn’t score too bad in this area, with just six colors.
However, the Evergreen State’s banner falls off the banana boat in terms of aesthetics.
Green is a beautiful and relatively unique flag color. Indeed, no other state flag features green as a background color.
But a solid green background is a little too much. And when the design is topped off with a picture of a dour plantation master, it’s enough to make one want to vomit.
Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But how many people in rainy Western Washington get a morale boost during the long, gray winters by gazing at a flag that resembles a one-dollar bill?
The corporate media have long fomented a witch-hunt for Confederate symbols. The resulting furor led to the adoption of a new Georgia flag (though the new flag still stinks), along with continuing agitation for a new Mississippi flag. Even Maryland’s state flag—and state song—are under fire.
Though not associated with the Confederacy, Massachusetts flag is deemed racist by some because it depicts a Native American standing under a sword. There is a growing movement to adopt a new flag.
Amazingly, the politically correct brigade have managed to studiously ignore Washington State’s flag, which stars George Washington.
Like Jefferson Davis, George Washington was a slave owner. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Washington was also an Indian fighter. In fact, it’s often said that Washington started the French and Indian War (“When Young George Washington Started a War,” David Preston, Smithsonian Magazine, October 2019).
Although he’s portrayed as a man of the people, Washington was actually an aristocratic snob. How many American school children know that Washington was the second richest U.S. pResident ever, after Donald Trump?
On top of everything else, George Washington never traveled west of the Missouri River.
Yes, the state is named after George. But that’s a stupid mistake we have to live with.
There’s another problem with the symbolism on Washington’s current flag: It doesn’t represent Eastern Washington.
Yes, Washington may be nicknamed The Evergreen State, a nickname backed up by some of the world’s most famous forests. But let’s not forget Eastern Washington, along with the state’s majestic mountains and rivers and the mighty Pacific Ocean.
To the media whores at the Seattle Times Eastern Washington may be “the hinterlands,” but it’s actually a very big and important part of the state. In fact, Eastern Washington is a nice refuge from Seattle, which has evolved into something quite ugly and frightening.
I guess the key word is diversity. Washington is one of the most biologically diverse states, yet its current state flag has a unicolor green field (background). Boring.
A 2001 survey conducted by the North American Vexillogical Association ranked Washington’s flag 25th among the state flags.
However, that rating was based on design and may not have even included attractiveness. If the state flags were awarded beauty-ugliness points, Washington’s flag would rank even lower. And if we factor in symbolism, it would sink lower still.
And that pretty much sums it up.
If you like Washington’s current state flag, you’re welcome to it. I loathed it the first time I saw it, long before I knew anything about politics, long before I knew George Washington was an aristocratic slave owner.