The Role of Flags in Signifying Renewal and Change

As winter ends across the country, the reappearance of flags in previously snowy and cold regions marks the changing of the seasons. In neighborhoods nationwide, Americans are dusting off their flagpoles and hoisting the national flag once again. As plant life returns to gardens and yards, more color will be added by displaying decorative flags. This year, you can also expect to see some new designs if you live in Utah or Minnesota, both of which are in the process of updating their state flags. Thus, these decorative, American, and state flags have come to represent dual meanings. In addition to the message or identity portrayed by the flag’s design, their return or revision symbolizes renewal, change, and the coming of spring.

Decorative Flags

House and garden flags are often themed based on important events, such as holidays or seasons. In this way, decorative flags are inherently tied to renewal since they are constantly replaced with current designs.

Now that the weather is turning warmer, spring flags have started appearing outside of homes. This is particularly noticeable in regions that have just emerged from a snowy winter, where flags are taken down until the cold weather subsides. The display of decorative flags, especially those with bright and colorful designs, celebrates the beginning of spring and the new life that it brings.

Some decorative flags combine the joy of spring and the reaffirmation of patriotism by including the American flag or related symbols in their designs. These flags represent that, despite any changes or the passing of seasons, the American spirit remains unwavering.

American Flags

In homes with a flagpole in the yard or mounted on the house’s exterior, people may choose to display a house decorative flag or the American flag itself. The raising of American flags is another way that the start of spring is heralded since many people store their flags inside during the winter, leaving flagpoles bare. This helps shield flags from the damaging effects of snow, ice, and hail, and prolongs their lifespan so they can be used again in the new year.

As landscapes across the country transform with new life, the red, white, and blue is added to the colorful mix of flowers and new growth. In this way, the celebration of winter’s end and patriotic beliefs are entwined in a display that marks the beginning of a new year in the USA.

However, the American flag isn’t the only patriotic symbol to appear in full force as the weather turns warm. Many citizens also choose to represent their home state alongside the US flag, honoring a new year in every one of the regions that make up the United States.

State Flags

Flags are dynamic symbols, with their designs modified over time to reflect changes in a movement or what it represents. As state flags reappear outside of homes, residents of Utah and Minnesota will want to buy new flags reflecting their updated state flag.

A new Utah flag was officially adopted on March 9, 2024, replacing the old Utah state flag used since 1913. Proposals to change the Utah state flag began in 2018 and 2020 but were rejected or stalled. In 2021, state Senator Daniel McCay sponsored a bill that would create a task force to collect submissions from the public.

Similarly, the previous state flag of Minnesota was the state seal on a blue background. The new Minnesota flag, which will be adopted on May 11, 2024, is a modified submission from the state’s 2023 redesign commission. Like Utah’s flag, this change exemplifies how modern aesthetics prefer simplicity and readability. These new state flags symbolize a new chapter in the history of Utah and Minnesota and the changing ways in which the citizens of those states wish to represent themselves.

These new designs are representative of how styles have changed over the years. Many older state flags simply placed the state seal on a plain background, but today, these designs are questioned by the North American Vexillological Association for being too difficult to recognize at a distance.

What state flags do you think will be changed next? If you live in Maine, check your November 5th ballot to vote whether your state flag should return to the original 1901 Pine Tree flag design. If the measure passes, it would revive an older design for use in modern times. As visual objects, flags are apparent indicators of change, whether for new original designs or renewing traditions from the past.

Don’t forget to proudly raise your American flag once again this year if you kept it stored away over the winter, and spend some time outside to appreciate the start of springtime.

Apr 29, 2024 Caeden F.

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