Maine College Student Calls For Revamp of Maine State Flag to Make it Gender-Neutral
It seems like every time we turn around, someone is trying to change some piece of history, symbol or landmark for whatever reason. Now, I'm not saying it's always a bad thing or a waste of time, it's merely an observation from my chair.
According to an article in the Kennebec Journal, Maine's House Majority Leader, Maureen Terry, has officially responded to the bill request which came from a Maine constituent regarding the Maine State Flag.
That constituent, 22-year-old, Ryan Desanctis, a Maine college student, said that while he was researching the Maine State Flag and its history, he didn't realize that the flag only depicts men, and that official description of the flag only mentions men. Desanctis says he would like to see one of the people on the flag be changed to a woman, and would also like to see the official description of the flag changed, too.
According to the Kennebec Journal, the following is the official Maine State Description of the State's flag, a flag with a seal that was created in 1820, just after Maine separated itself from Massachusetts.
“The seal of the State shall be a shield, argent, charged with a pine tree with a moose at the foot of it, recumbent; supporters: on dexter side (right), a husbandman, resting on a scythe; on sinister side (left), a seaman, resting on an anchor.”
Desanctis said that some of the changes he would like to see include changing one of the figures on the flag to a female, changing the word 'husbandman' to farmer and 'seaman' to sailor. The legislation is currently being sponsored by Maine's Speaker of The House, Maureen Terry (D).
State Histrotian, Earle Shettleworth, told the Kennebec Journal in part,
“Certainly, updating language that is considered arcane is probably less complex than changing the imagery itself. But I think one of the issues here is finding a way to make these emblems and symbols more meaningful.”
Additionally, there are two other bills currently being proposed by the Maine legislature to alter the Maine flag, the Kennebec Journal reports. One of those bills, also sponsored by a democrat, would remove the Maine State Seal altogether.