By Patrick Genna, revised by Scott Mainwaring
Originally published in Vexilloid Tabloid #34 (June 2012)
In February a South Dakota House panel rejected a proposal to change the state flag. Its design was first adopted in 1909, updated in 1963, and again in 1992. (There is a short YouTube video explaining the evolution.)
Using the standard arguments against change, Secretary of State Jason Gant urged the panel to keep the current flag, which he said represents the state’s history and is recognized by people across South Dakota, and John Moison, an artist and retired state worker, said the current flag should be retained because South Dakota troops have fought under it in all wars since at least World War II.
The flag is used as a bad example in Good Flag, Bad Flag, which notes that it writes the name of the state—twice.
Artist Dick Termes had proposed a new design—which may have been the challenge. A more successful strategy for flag-change might be to achieve consensus that the current flag should be changed, BEFORE offering any new designs.
The topic spurred much discussion on flag-related chat forums.
Working with Michael Rudolf, of Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, I developed a more simple alternative for a new design (below).