Flag hangs upside down at Nebraska Capitol for 10 days

Flag hangs upside down at Nebraska Capitol for 10 days

Nebraska’s state flag recently hung upside down outside the state Capitol in Lincoln for 10 days before someone noticed.

To state Sen. Burke Harr, that’s evidence that the flag needs a redesign. And the nation’s leading authorities on flags and flag designs agree.

Harr introduced legislation this week to create a five-member panel to consider redesigning the state flag, which consists of the state seal on a blue background, by the end of the year.

The seal depicts a train crossing in front of mountains, behind a blacksmith working on an anvil, while a steamboat chugs down the Missouri River alongside a wheat field. A simple banner declares “Equality Before the Law,” the state motto.

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“That’s fine for a state seal,” Harr told the committee, according to the Omaha World-Herald. “But a flag needs to be instantly identifiable.”

Members of Nebraska’s unicameral legislature do not caucus by party, but Harr is a Democrat.

Harr pointed to a 2001 study by the North American Vexillological Association, which declared Nebraska’s state flag to be among the worst in the nation. The association asked its members to rate flags from states and Canadian provinces; only Georgia’s state flag, which has since been redesigned, scored lower than Nebraska’s.

State flags from Montana, Kansas, South Dakota, Minnesota, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Idaho and New Hampshire — all of which show state seals on backgrounds of varying shades of blue — all scored poorly on the survey.

New Mexico’s state flag, a red sun symbol on a yellow background, scored highest. Flags from Texas, Quebec, Maryland and Alaska rounded out the top five.

The state Senate committee did not take action on Harr’s legislation on Monday. No word on whether the state is keeping a closer eye on the flag flying over their heads.