Well that was kind of awkward.
When the state Legislature is in session, the state flag flies high over the west side of Nebraska’s state Capitol in Lincoln.
Last month the flag reportedly flew upside-down for 10 days.
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A lawmaker pushing the state to redesign its flag cited the mistake as one reason for a makeover — so people can tell which end is up.
“Nobody noticed it,” state Sen. Burke Harr from Omaha told members of the Legislature’s Executive Board in January. “It took someone drawing it to my attention before it was changed.”
Harr wants to set up a task force to find a new design, which would dovetail with the state’s 150th anniversary of statehood this year.
A petition supporting that effort on Change.org says Nebraska has a lot to be proud of — go Huskers! — but the flag’s gotta go.
“The flag of Nebraska is a product of bad design,” writes the petition’s creator, David Connolly of Omaha.
How “bad” is it?
A new Twitter account popped up this month: Sad Nebraska Flag.
The Cornhusker state has been at this crossroads before. In 1972 one state senator wanted to find a new design for a flag he referenced as “the homeliest in the nation,” according to the Omaha World-Herald.
Expert eyes have concurred with that critique. In 2001, members of the North American Vexillological Association, who study flags, declared Nebraska’s flag one of the five worst in the nation. The state flag of neighboring Kansas wound up at the bottom, too.
Nebraska’s flag is blue and bears the state seal — dotted with several small images including a steamboat, cabin, train, wheat sheaves and a smith wielding a hammer — and the motto, “Equality Before the Law.”
It’s hard to read and looks like so many other blue state flags that bear their state seals, critics say.
Another recent makeover effort in 2002 died after protesters objected to messing around with Nebraska’s heritage.
(Don’t ask the Nebraska State Historical Society’s thoughts on the topic. It’s pulling a Switzerland and staying neutral, according to the World-Herald.)
“There may be some people who are traditionalists, and I understand the concern,” Harr told the newspaper. “That’s why we’re doing it in an open process. If we decide to keep it, we keep it.”
The Omaha World-Herald recently asked schoolchildren to redesign the flag. Corn popped up as a recurring theme.
One design had an elephant on it. A reference to Omaha’s zoo or how the corn grows as high as an elephant’s eye?