Louisiana unveiled a new state flag last week, which looks a lot like the old state flag.
Unfortunately, I think the new state banner lacks certain qualities that make for a good flag. For one thing, any clue about what the place is, who the people have become and what they aspire to.
Reading the New Orleans Times-Picayune story about the whole deal, you'd have no clue, though. The reporter makes it sound like everything in Bannerland is hunky dory:
The flag's design is similar to the existing flag but the brown pelican, the state bird, is more sophisticated and has three red drops of blood flowing from its breast, said Jacques Berry, chief spokesman for Secretary of State Tom Schedler's office.I WOULD HAVE rung up an expert or two at Louisiana State University for comment on political symbolism and whatnot, but they were all laid off last semester. Gov. Bobby Jindal likewise was unavailable for comment as he wraps up the Jupiter leg of his book tour.
The new design was required by a bill passed by Rep. Damon Baldone, D-Houma, during the 2006 legislative session based on the historical research of Joseph Louviere, a Houma student, which indicated the existing pelican seal did not have the bird tearing at its breast.
Historical descriptions of the blue flag include the three drops of blood, described as a sign of the state's willingness to sacrifice itself for its citizens. The design goes back to medieval times, when people believed pelicans fed chicks with their blood.
Unveiling the new flag took place at the conclusion of the dual inaugurations of Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, who had been secretary of state; and Schedler, who served as Dardenne's first assistant and was sworn in as secretary of state.
Anyway, there's not much more to say about the whole deal. I'll just leave you with a more historically, politically and sociologically correct banner (top), which I make available to the Gret Stet free of charge.
Of course, the way things are going in my home state, even free might be too rich for its blood. All three legally specified drops of it.