Thursday, May 9, 2019
Contact: Kristen Schulze Muszynski

Secretary Matthew Dunlap seeking public votes on Maine bicentennial flag design

AUGUSTA – Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is seeking public input on three proposed designs for the bicentennial commemorative flag, which will be on display statewide through 2020.

The bicentennial flag online survey is now posted on the Maine Department of the Secretary of State website, where all three designs are displayed for voting. The design receiving the most votes will weigh heavily in Secretary Dunlap’s consideration and he will present his final decision to the Legislature and the Maine Bicentennial Commission. Voting begins today and will end at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 17.

Secretary Dunlap is seeking this public input as part of implementing Legislative Resolve Chapter 22 To Create a Flag To Recognize the Bicentennial of the State. This Legislative Resolve charges the Secretary with creation of a commemorative flag in recognition and celebration of the bicentennial of the State, which became the 23rd State on March 15, 1820.

Those who choose to vote on the flag will decide among three proposed designs:

  • Secretary Dunlap’s design, which depicts three fields of color: White represents the hardiness of Maine people as they live, work, and play in a state that resides in the great boreal zone of the north; green represents the forests, farms, and natural beauty of Maine in all times of year; the natural resource-based economy; and blue denotes our rivers, streams, brooks and lakes, and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The logo of the Maine Bicentennial Commission, branded as “Maine200,” which uses the blue, gold and red colors of the current State flag, on a white field. The design includes the bicentennial slogan “Leading The Way.”
  • A variation on the original State flag of 1901, this design comprises a simple depiction of a pine tree against a field of blue that represents sky, and lighter blue across the bottom that represents water. This design was submitted to Secretary Dunlap by a Portland resident and has been modified to include the North Star and Dirigo banner in place of a single white, five-sided star.

All three designs incorporate the radiant North Star and Dirigo banner, extracted from the Great Seal of the State of Maine as a unifying symbol for the bicentennial effort, depicted on the Bicentennial Commemorative License Plate and the Bicentennial Commission’s Maine200 branding. Its inclusion in the seal, as on the flags, acknowledges the role of Polaris as the guide star of navigators and explorers, and embraces the trust in our future in the phrase Dirigo, meaning alternately “I lead,” “I direct,” or “Follow me.” The color of the North Star – gold – also calls to mind those who have sacrificed their futures for our present, and the families we honor with the Gold Star emblem.