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Maine's Quest for a New State Banner: Exploring the Contest and Design Submissions


The State of Maine has embarked on a transformative endeavor to redefine its visual identity through the creation of a new state flag. Recognizing the current flag's limitations and the need for a more reflective and inclusive symbol, the Maine State Legislature initiated a statewide contest to solicit fresh design concepts.

The Call for Submissions

The contest, officially dubbed the "Maine State Flag Design Contest," was open to all Maine residents, providing a platform for both amateur and professional designers to showcase their creativity and contribute to this historic undertaking. The guidelines stipulated that the new flag should adhere to specific criteria, including embodying the state's heritage, values, and aspirations, while adhering to vexillological principles. Submissions were required to incorporate the state motto, "Dirigo" (Latin for "I Lead"), and represent the state's natural beauty, history, and people.

The Judging Process

A distinguished panel of experts, including representatives from the Maine State Museum, the Maine Historical Society, and the Maine Arts Commission, was tasked with evaluating the numerous submissions received. Their assessment focused on the designs' artistic merit, symbolism, originality, and suitability for use as a state banner.

The Shortlisted Designs

After a rigorous selection process, a shortlist of five finalist designs emerged, each embodying unique interpretations of Maine's identity and aspirations. The finalists were unveiled to the public for feedback and further consideration.

Design 1: "The Pine Tree State"

This design features a prominent evergreen tree, a symbol deeply rooted in Maine's history and landscape. The tree is set against a backdrop of the state's iconic coastline, emphasizing the connection between the state's natural beauty and its people.

Design 2: "Maine's Maritime Heritage"

This design pays homage to Maine's rich maritime history, depicting a sailing vessel gliding across the waves. The design evokes the state's shipbuilding industry, its fishing communities, and its coastal traditions.

Design 3: "The Wabanaki Dawn"

This design acknowledges the Wabanaki Confederacy, the indigenous people who have inhabited Maine for centuries. The design incorporates traditional Wabanaki symbols, such as a canoe and a star, representing the enduring presence of the Wabanaki people and their cultural heritage.

Design 4: "Maine's Natural Wonders"

This design celebrates Maine's diverse natural landscapes, featuring a vibrant array of flora and fauna. The design showcases the state's mountains, forests, rivers, and wildlife, highlighting its ecological richness.

Design 5: "Maine's Future"

This design symbolizes Maine's aspirations for the future, depicting a modern skyline with wind turbines and a ship in the foreground. The design conveys the state's commitment to sustainability, innovation, and economic development.

Public Feedback and Voting

The shortlisted designs were presented to the public for feedback and voting. Maine residents were encouraged to voice their opinions and preferences, providing valuable insights to the selection committee. The voting process allowed for a democratic and inclusive decision-making process, ensuring that the chosen design truly represents the collective aspirations of the people of Maine.

The Winning Design

After a thorough evaluation of the public feedback and voting results, the winning design was announced. The winning design successfully captures the essence of Maine's identity, embodying its heritage, values, and aspirations. It is a visual representation of the state's proud history, its natural beauty, and its commitment to a vibrant future.

The Legacy of the New Flag

The adoption of the new Maine state flag marks a significant milestone in the state's history. It serves as a symbol of unity, pride, and a shared vision for the future. The flag will be flown at state buildings, schools, and other public spaces, reminding Maine residents of their collective identity and the importance of working together to build a better tomorrow. The new flag is a testament to the creative spirit of Maine's people and the enduring power of symbolism to unite a community.

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