Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has finalized the design of the Maine bicentennial commemorative flag, to be on display statewide through 2020.
The flag is comprised of a field of blue representing the sky; lighter blue across the bottom representing water, be that river, pond or ocean; and a pine tree moved off center to make the viewer feel like they are inside the forest, looking out. The shape of the pine tree is based on the tree featured in the Maine Merchant and Marine flag in the 1930s.
Portland resident Jeff Van West submitted the design with a white star in the flag’s upper left field. In the final design, Secretary Dunlap chose to use a white version of the radiant Dirigo star and banner in place of the unembellished star.
The Dirigo star, which Secretary Dunlap extracted from the State Seal for use on the Maine Bicentennial Commemorative License Plate in 2017, is a unifying symbol of Maine’s bicentennial effort, and it is used in the Maine200 Bicentennial Commission logo.
“I would like to thank the artist for this viable option, which about two-thirds of the survey respondents selected,” said Secretary Dunlap. “In keeping with the established bicentennial symbol of the Dirigo Star and Banner, I am comfortable that this is something people can embrace for the bicentennial commemoration of our Great State of Maine.”
The decision incorporates input from more than 6,500 people who participated in an online survey of three different designs. With 59 percent of the votes, survey respondents expressed preference for the design that depicts a variation on Maine’s State flag of 1901.
Secretary Dunlap will present the final design to the State and Local Government Committee, which directed him to create it via Legislative Resolve Chapter 22 “To Create a Flag To Recognize the Bicentennial of the State.” He will then put the flag forward to the Maine’s Bicentennial Commission for formal adoption as the official flag of the state’s bicentennial commemoration.
The bicentennial flag is intended to be flown during the commemoration of Maine’s 200th anniversary of statehood and is not a replacement for the current State of Maine flag.