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390. State Flag Revisions: Indiana. 

Artist Paul Hadley's 'Town Scene' WatercolorSo, New York called and wants its torch back. And no state deserves that many stars on it's flag, so we have some work to do here. First, as usual, let's figure out how we got to this dark and lowly state. (Actually, it's not nearly the worst flag, just says absolutely nothing about Indiana apart from the other 49. We'll fix that for sure.)

During the state's 1916 Centennial celebrations, those old ne'er do wells, The Daughters of the American Revolution sponsored yet another design competition at the request of the state's General Assembly. It was not uncommon as we've already learned for states to go flag-less well into the 19th century. And it was also quite common for these so called competitions to be judged with ethical standards of the Russian Olympic judges. They received over 200 submissions, which is pretty good since wasn't yet up and running. The winning design was submitted by Indiana artist Paul Hadley, and was adopted on May 31, 1917. Small fact, the flag wasn't called a flag officialy until 1955 - when the government decided that it didn't have anything better to do than rename the state banner the state flag. Apparently, it was a slow year for Indiana state government.

So what does this flag look like? Anything in your mind those of you outside of Indiana? I didn't think so. Well, it's a gold or buff-colored torch (again no real color standards here) of liberty and enlightment set on a blue field and surrounded by approximately 852 stars of different sizes. Actually the number is 19 stars. 13 for the original colonies set in a large circle and five set in an inner circle, representing the next five states admitted into the union—none of which would have a place on the flag at all, excpet that Indiana coincidentally was the 19th state. I guess they needed to count up. The 19th star on the flag is the largest and sits on top of the torch, and they've been kind of enough to include the word, Indiana in case you forgot you were in Indiana. No state has yet to include the name of another state on their flag, so thanks Indiana for being so clear like your friends in Idaho and Illinois who've also included their name on the flag.

According to the Indiana Room blog, the artist Paul Hadley was "an art instructor at the Herron School of Art (1922-1933), he specialized in watercolors and outdoor sketches. Paul became Assistant Curator of the Art Association (1935-36). He travelled the country, capturing distinctively local scenes that defined mid-20th century Hoosier and American culture. He lived in Mooresville, Plainfield, and, finally, Richmond, IN, where he died on Jan. 31, 1971." Also, "Paul was named “most popular artist” at the 1922 Indiana State Fair. He did not drive a car; instead, he hiked cross-country to paint the scenic views. His ability to capture the essence of his subjects was matched by superb use of color and realism, softened with impressionistic tones." No disrespect to Paul who passed away in 1971, but we have to change the flag.

Indiana State Flag Designer, Paul Hadley (left) with student:

The only other details I found interesting about the flag, is this little tidbit added to the regulations in 1967.

Sec. 1. A new and different Indiana state flag shall be displayed at the state capitol building on each and every day whenever practicable and feasible. (Formerly: Acts 1967, c.162, s.1.) As amended by Acts 1979, P.L.1, SEC.2.)

The Current Indiana State Flag:

Now, I don't know about you, but when I think of Indiana I think of this little film.

And there are worse things to build a new flag design around than basketball, and I think most citizens of Indiana would put their contribution to roundball right up there with, well whatever else Indiana is famous for. So we're going to design around basketball, but we're also going to connect the basketball design with their current state motto, The Crossroads of America which came to be in 1829 when the National Road connected Indianapolis with the eastern part of the country. (This was the first major improved highway funded by the Federal Government by the way.) You still learned things from this old site now don't you? Oh, and guess what, they'll even get a subtle 'I' in the design as well. This is the people's flag of Indiana. Done and done. Next stop is the absolute horror of Iowa's flag.

The New Indiana State Flag:

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