A New State Flag For Oregon
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A New State Flag
For Oregon

Last updated July 24, 2000

Oregon is the only state in the USA to have a two-sided state flag. The front of the flag bears the bold words, "State Of Oregon," below which is a symbolic crest containing icons of Oregon's history, culture, and industry. On the other side of the flag is Bucky, the majestic Golden Beaver, gnawing on a log. Bucky's image used to represent Oregon's rich wildlife and thriving timber industry, but sadly the toothy rodent has become a bit of an anachronism.

Over the past decade, the frenzied growth of Oregon's population has prompted unheard-of demands for lumber as construction firms across the state continue to build more terrible houses. Most of Oregon's wilderness was once privately owned by the descendants of early settlers, thousands of whom benefited greatly from the construction boom. They gladly contributed to the statewide gentrification effort by selling their forest property to lumber companies, who swiftly chopped down everything in sight. The fact that they owned the land they decimated released them from any federal pressures to reforest the land, so they didn't.

Today the only trees that still stand in Oregon lie right outside urban growth boundaries, on land that is already earmarked for future development. Oregon no longer has any harvestable trees, and thus no timber industry. The lack of adequate trees around Oregon's many streams spurred the great Beaver Exodus of 1997. Since that time the only beaver seen in Oregon has been the one waving on the back of the ol' state flag. Alas, the Beaver State had become not a Silicon Forest, but a Pressboard Jungle.

Hence our petition for a new, more relevant state flag. We are not so much concerned about altering the front of the flag as we are about righting the wrong that mars the back. Look out, Bucky- your days are numbered.

The flag as it is today:
Side 1
Side 2

The proposed alternatives:
The Golden Diamond
The Candy-colored Cow Catcher
The Blue Tarp

The flag as it is today


This is the front of Oregon's state flag. It's not exactly pretty, but it's been printed up in too many encyclopedias for us to want to change it.

This is the offending side of the flag. Since the state no longer has trees or wildlife, we feel it is confusing, and wish that it be changed to more accurately reflect the spirit of Oregon.

Alternative design 1: The Golden Diamond


The most characteristic geographic feature of Oregon is no longer its forests or mountains, but its cul-de-sacs. Nearly every Oregonian is greeted by a Golden Diamond on the way home from work. The succinct phases, "Dead End" and "No Outlet" proudly identify the myriad quasi-tribal suburbs that continue to flourish across the state.

Alternative design 2: The Candy-colored Cow Catcher


At the end of every sidewalk that ends by a yet-undeveloped lot, at the end of  every street that was intentionally blocked because too many pedestrians got mowed down by cell-phone-distracted motorists, stands the unmistakable, inescapable cow catcher. It is the alpha and omega of urban sprawl, indicating both where progress has yet to take root and where it has gone too far. The cow catcher is a constant reminder of the balance that we must strike between self-actualization and excess.

Alternative design 3: The Blue Tarp


Some of the more reactionary elements in Oregon have pushed for the subtle Blue Tarp, a symbol of their solidarity and their burdens. It almost seems redundant, because nearly every old-growth household in Oregon already has at least one blue tarp recklessly strewn about the property, but there is an undeniable poignant power in the simple design with the rusted ringlets lining its edges. It symbolizes the enormous price that Oregonians have paid... for all the boats, campers, and other miscellaneous crap that they leave out in their yards for their neighbors to both covet and despise.