What Is the Only Two-Sided State Flag?

By Geoffrey Migiro on January 24 2020 in World Facts

The front and back of Oregon's flag.
The front and back of Oregon's flag.

The only two-sided state flag in the United States is the flag of Oregon while the only nation with a double-sided flag is Paraguay. The double-sided flags were very common in the past in the United States. However, with the cost of manufacturing them being quite high in most states, states other than Oregon replaced their flags with some simple banners. Oregon became the last state with a double-sided flag after Massachusetts changed its flag in 1971.

Flag of Oregon

The flag of Oregon has a navy blue field with all the symbols and letters in gold. The flag's colors (gold and navy blue) represent the state's colors. The observing part of the flag features an escutcheon, similar to the one on the state's seal. The reverse part has an image of a beaver (Oregon's state animal). The phrase "STATE-OF-OREGON" is situated above the escutcheon while the year when Oregon became a state (1859) is drafted below the shield. There are thirty-three stars surrounding the shield on the flag indicating that Oregon was the thirty-third state to gain statehood. For parade or dress use, the Oregon flag might have a gold fringe while the ones for standard users do not have fringes. The ratio of the Oregon flag width-to-length is 3:5.

The first Oregon flag was sewn by Blanche Cox and Marjorie Kennedy, the employees of Meier and Frank department store. The grandson of governor Pierce Walter donated that flag in 1954 to the University of Eastern Oregon. The current flag of Oregon has been in use since February 26, 1925; however, numerous individuals have tried to change the state flag over the last few years. The first attempt to change the flag of Oregon was initiated by the Oregonian in 2009 after they started a statewide competition to redesign the flag. The Oregonian published the flag entries and allowed the residents to choose the winning design. The winning entry was designed by Randall Gray from Clackamas County. Randall's flag emphasized on state's animal on the backside of the current Oregon flag. The green on Gray's flag represented the forests and natural wilderness in the state while the star symbolized Oregon's place in the United States. Once the contest began, the locals requested for the newspaper to add another option "None-of-the-above" for individuals who felt that the flag should not be changed. The "None-of-the-above" option received the highest number of votes in the final tally.

In 2013, Senator Anderson Laurie sponsored a bill which proposed numerous changes on the state's current flag on behalf of Norquist Matt. However, the bill didn't make it out of the committee. The bill proposed that the flag will have a golden field on the fly and a navy-blue field at the hoist. The flag's canton was to feature the Oregon state animal in gold. The proposed changes included the addition of a navy blue vertical stripe on the fly with a white star in the center. The proposed amendments also included making the reverse and observe mirror images of each other.

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