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LETTER: It's time to change our state flag

To the editor:

I believe it is time to change the antiquated symbol that we call the state flag. The flag of our great state is far too complex and is virtually indistinguishable from half of our nation's state flags. To the untrained eye, it looks identical from Nebraska's flag at 100 feet. The flag has fallen susceptible to the design tropes of the 19th century regimental flags, like so many other state flags. As Minnesotans, I believe we should spark a change and change our state's flag to something more simplistic, creative and impactful.

According to the Portland Flag Association, a good flag should meet five criteria:

1. Keep it simple. A good flag should be so simple a child should be able to draw it by memory.

2. Use meaningful symbolism. A good flag's images, colors and patterns should relate well to what it represents.

3. Use two to three basic colors. Limit the number of colors so they contrast well and come from a standard color set.

4. No lettering or seals. Never use writing of any kind on a flag, or any organization's seal. This one is particularly important, as seals are meant for a piece of paper, where they are easily read, not 500 feet away, blowing in the wind. Also, lettering defeats the purpose of a flag and shows that your flag's symbols aren't recognizable and do not represent the state adequately.

5. Be distinctive or be related. A good flag should not duplicate another flag, but utilizes similarities to show connections.

The flag of Minnesota violates all five, but we can change that. I suggest hiring numerous designers to created symbolic, simplistic and creative flags for our state and have the people vote on it in a referendum, so the people can choose the flag that represents them. After all, they know best.

Erik Aamold, age 13

Vilonia, AR (his grandparents live in Alexandria)