This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Oregon flag proposals(U.S.)

Last modified: 2016-05-05 by rick wyatt
Keywords: oregon |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

See also:

New Oregon Flag Proposal

One proposal for a new Oregon flag can be seen here:
Valentin Poposki, 29 April 2008

Oregonian Contest

As part of the 150th anniversary of Oregon's admission to the USA, the Portland, Oregon newspaper "Oregonian" is sponsoring a contest to design a new flag for the state that will 1) not be two-sided, so as to be less expensive to produce and 2) be distinctive as seen from a distance (currently dark blue with a seal, as are almost a dozen other US state flags).

Copied from the Oregonian web site

  • Entries must be on a 3 x 5 card or paper of that proportion
  • Designs must be one-sided and rectangular
  • Flags can be any solid color or combination of colors. But gradated colors, where one shade passes in small degrees to to a lighter shade or another tint entirely, can't be used. Designs must be original.
  • By entering this contest, you agree to release all rights to the design and agree to let us submit it to the Legislature for consideration as an updated flag design.

Deadline: 5 p.m. Nov. 21
  • Finalists will be notified by Dec. 10.
  • Ten final designs get voted on by the public.
  • The winner will be notified by mid-January and will receive a 3-foot by 5-foot cloth flag of their design.
  • On the back of your entry, print your name, address and daytime telephone number. And feel free to include an explanation of the design.

From Ted Kaye, North American Vexillological Association
    The flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory. Flags flap, drape and must be seen from a distance. So simple designs make the most effective flags. Furthermore, complicated flags cost more. Focus on a single symbol, a few colors, large shapes and no letters.
    Usually a single primary symbol is best, and consider Oregon icons such as Douglas firs, mountains, Haystack Rock, Crater Lake, pioneer wagons, etc.... Colors often carry meanings: red for blood or sacrifice, white for purity, blue for water or sky.
    Pick no more than three. The basic flag colors are red, blue, green, black, yellow and white. Choose colors that create effective contrast.
    Words defeat the purpose. A flag is a graphic symbol. Letters are hard to read from a distance, hard to sew and difficult to reduce to lapel-pin size. Seals such as what is on the current Oregon flag were designed to be read up close such as on paper. Few are effective flags - too much detail. Better to use one element from the seal as a symbol.
    Sometimes the good designs are already taken. However, a flag's symbols, colors, and shapes can recall other flags - a powerful way to show heritage, solidarity, or connectedness. This requires knowledge of other flags. Often the best way to start by looking to one's roots, and studying other flags.
    REMEMBER: All rules have exceptions.
Lee Thompson, 20 October 2008


"Out of a couple thousand entries to our state flag redesign contest, judges narrowed the field to 10 finalists." The 10 selected designs, together with comments by their designer, were submitted to vote from 11 December 2008 to 12 January 2009; thry are still visible on the newspaper's website, together with the result of the vote. The voters mostly did not select any of the flags (21%) but would have adopted (20%) the flag designed by Randall Gray, horizontally divided green-white-blue-white-green (1:1:4:1:1) with a golden star and beaver in the blue stripe. The second choice (17%), submitted by Karen L. Azinger, is vertically divided blue-white-yellow (1:3:4) with a green Douglas fir in the white stripe. Another proposal with a Douglas fir, submitted by Lorraine Bushek, vertically divided blue-green with a yellow Douglas fir forming the field separation, got 11% of the votes. None of the other proposals, which all have their own vexillological merit, reached 10% of the votes. Interestingly, the "busiest" design, contributed by John Mothershead, received the lowest share of votes (1%).

Douglas Lynch, the designer of the municipal flag of Portland in 1969 (modified by himself in 2003), now aged 95 [probably one of the oldest active flag designers], proposed an elegant design, vertically divided green-orange by a raggy line made of six white triangles representing snow-capped mountains; this design received only 9% of the votes.
Ivan Sache, 31 March 2009