Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The New Oregon Flag: Initial Attempts

Michael5000 recently posted a flag makeover contest on his blog. As a proud Oregon resident - and as the person who first suggested the ridiculous idea of a flag makeover contest - I feel obliged to enter.

Now, I'm not real keen on competition. Ignoring the fact that I recently sponsored a contest on my own blog, the whole "who's better, who's best" thing makes me a little wacky. But, I do love a challenge. And I love visual brainstorming.

In the spirit of quantity not quality and deferring judgment, I wanted to let you in on how this flag development process is going.

I started by considering some of the elements already on the flag: a beaver, the color blue, the color yellow, the state seal, the easy-to-spot-in-a-line-up words "State of Oregon." I considered elements that are iconic elements of our state: beavers, salmon, Nike, Mt. Hood, wine, trees, eco-stuff, grass farms, tree farms, rain, skiing, rugged coastline, a wide variety of berries.

How to present rain in a flag? Or, how to present the fact that only recent transplants, tourists, and Odd Ducks on Very Rainy Days will actually use umbrellas here in the Beaver State? I began to sketch, using the only paper available to me while eating lunch at Chili's with the Sweetie: the envelope from my PCC W2 form.

Not entirely satisfied, I wanted to see how it looked in color - using blue and green, the colors I primarily associate with my adopted state, so full of moisture and lush, mossy growth:

Sadly, it's not very . . . stately. So, I began to look at iconic animals. The salmon. The beaver. How to get them both on the flag? Representative of our waterways and our forests and their interconnectedness? Hmm . . .

What about a hybrid? The . . . Beamon! A quick sketch of the Beamon skiing (er, sorry, snowboarding) down Mt. Hood was rejected for further development, but the Beamon concept was explored in color. Unfortunately, the artist did not have reference images of either a beaver or a salmon at the time of the drawing:

The Sweetie commented that it looked sort of like a shrimp.

Back to the drawing board.


d said...

the beamon/salver looks like the thing of nightmares. but i do like the yin yang thing you have going on with the blue and green in the background. keep that.

Michael said...

Aww, I like the beamon! His buck teeth are kind of surprising in a fish mouth -- looks like he's smoking. Cool!

gl. said...

oh! he's cute in a terrible way, and i have a total soft spot for critters like that. :)

i also like the "no umbrellas" state flag. :)

Phineas said...

OK - the beamon made me laugh. I'm sure you considered the salver, but of course, that would be disrespectful.

Can I suggest more emphasis on the "wide variety of berries"? Actually, that's subterfuge, as my entry is already in, but I really never knew (never having been to Oregon).

Mainly, it's awesome that you're showing your thought process with us.....love it.