Columbia artists offer their ideas for a new flag on Flag Day

Thursday, June 12, 2008 | 8:12 p.m. CDT; updated 8:27 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Bob Hartzell's flag

COLUMBIA — The American flag has gone through many transformations since its first creation in 1775, most of which is the addition of stars as the nation has grown. The flag only had stripes until 1776 when Betsy Ross introduced stars to symbolize each state. Although the flag has welcomed more stars over the past 200 years, it has remained the red, white and blue since 1777.

In honor of Flag Day, we asked some artistically inclined citizens to draw up a flag that represents America as they see it. Here’s what they came up with:

What do YOU think?

Has their patriotism moved you? Leave a comment below, or e-mail a drawing of your flag to us at

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Bob Hartzell, artist

Flag statement: “My re-imagined flag is limited to one red stripe and one blue stripe, which simplifies the overall design (of the current American flag). Looking more closely at the surface of those stripes, however, one sees a complex pattern: each stripe is a field of slightly different shades of red or blue stars, representing that, while at a distance, we may seem to be split as a nation between blue and red stars, at a closer look we are all slightly different in history and perspective. In the middle of these stripes is a single open star (which) signifies the single idea of a unified yet diverse people. It also places the flag into the context of its surroundings so that a flag, no matter where it is displayed, will celebrate the general nature of diverse opinions as well as the specific comfort of each individual’s context and local flavors.”

Chris Canipe, graphic designer

Flag statement: “What if, among all of the things the American flag traditionally represents — freedom, democracy, independence — it also stood for the country that leads the world in clean energy investment? Maybe I’m just an optimist.”

Gaige Larson, graphic designer

Flag statement: “The eye on the oil can is the eye on the all-seeing pyramid from the dollar bill. With that attached to the oil can instead of a pyramid, I’m trying to project that our next great achievement will be the end of oil. And that needs to happen or else Al Gore will kill us all. Oil on top of the stars shows how all 50 states rely on it, and they don’t stop, there will be nothing left. The 13 colony stripes are different widths because none are equal; some hold greater importance for certain elections and parties and other stuff.”

Stephanie Foley, artist

Flag statement: “I call it ‘Will Work For Oil.’”

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Frank Teever June 14, 2008 | 9:27 a.m.


I especially like `Will Work For Oil`

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