Bring Back the Original State Flag!

Original Maine State Flag

The Original Maine State Flag

We have three good reasons why.

1 It’s a big improvement.

Aficionados at the North American Vexillological Association ranked our flag fashion sense a pitiable 60th out of 72 states, provinces, and territories. Just slapping the state seal, with its cartoonish sailor and farmer, on a blue background is plain lazy. The original flag, with its park–ranger-chic palette and clean depiction of a white pine and the North Star, has a surprisingly contemporary vibe, despite flying from 1901 to 1909.

2 It’ll drive economic growth.

Okay, maybe that’s a stretch. But it’ll certainly help the tattoo biz. In Washington, D.C., inking the similarly schematic District flag fills many a tat artist’s coffer. And don’t forget bumper stickers. The South Carolina flag, with its simple palmetto tree and crescent moon, is all over the road. Then there’s Maine Flag Company co-owner Bethany Field, who stitches replicas of our original banner. She’s already working through more than a hundred backorders, so she’d definitely need to hire some help.

3 Dave Martucci deserves a win.

The former president of the vexillological association lives right here, in the town of Washington, and has twice tried to convince the state legislature to reinstate the flag (maxing out at one yes vote in committee). That hasn’t deterred his passion for the old pine and Polaris: he knows of only two authentic period copies of the flag still in existence — and he owns one of them.

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Will Grunewald

Will Grunewald is Down East's associate editor.