Saturday, December 10, 2016

This Week In Vexillology #193: Michigan

The Brown Flag Challenge keeps rolling right along this week and we're coming back to North America to take a look at the flag of The Great Lakes State- yes, that's right- we're looking at Michigan:
You know, people tend to get down on state flags because too many of them go the direction of 'Seals On A Bedsheet' and Michigan almost does that- but this is more a 'Coat of Arms On A Bedsheet' which is enough of a change of pace from so many State Flags out there, I'd rank this one in the upper echelon of the state flags. It's striking- and you can see plenty of brown on the flag, with the elk, the moose and the eagle.

(NAVA disagrees with me. They ranked it 59 out of 72 flags and averaged 3.46 out of a possible 10 points. Way harsh, NAVA. Way, way harsh.)

So let's break it down- this flag is actually the 3rd state flag of Michigan and it was adopted June 26, 1911- so it's only been around and kicking for 105 years or so. (Per the Wikipedia page, they're also thinking of replacing it? Possibly by 2019?)

The Coat of Arms depicts the sun rising over a lake and a peninsula, a man raising his hand which stands for peace and holding a long gun representing the fight for state and nation as a frontier state. The elk and the moose are taken from the Hudson Bay Company's Coat of Arms and depict animals found in Michigan. The eagle stands for the United States, which carved out the state from the Northwest Territory.

We've got some Latin to get jiggy with as well. From the top:

'E Pluribius Unum': Out of Many, One
'Tuebor': I will defend
'Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice': If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you. (It's the state motto.)

And that's the flag of Michigan in a nutshell, but before we go, I want to blow your minds with this little piece of knowledge. Michigan has it's own Pledge of Allegiance and it goes a little something like this:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of Michigan, and to the state for which it stands, two beautiful peninsulas united by a bridge of steel, where equal opportunity and justice for all is our ideal."
I really need some Michiganders to weigh in here. Is this on the level or just some Wikipedia-fever dream?

Remember, until next time keep your flags flying- FREAK or otherwise!

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