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OUR VIEW: Nice to have flag ideas, but this plan wasn't good

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opinion Mitchell, 57301
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

The South Dakota state flag will not get an upgrade. A legislative committee rejected the proposed new flag Monday on a 7-4 vote.

The legislation proposed changing the flag from its current blue-and-gold design to a more complex, intricate design submitted by a Spearfish man.

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At present, the flag simply has the state seal in its center. The state seal -- we probably all should know this -- depicts several aspects of the state, with a farmer scene on the right (east), mountains on the left (west) and a steamboat plying the great Missouri River down the seal's center.

Lawmakers backing the new flag idea didn't seem to have a problem with the seal, but said the seal and the flag should be two distinctly separate pieces, and one should not be used in place of the other. Enter the design by Spearfish's Dick Termes. His flag included a medicine wheel at the center, with intricate color designs highlighting the rest of the banner.

According to the wording in the bill -- HB 1235 -- the proposed flag is a "red medicine wheel surrounded by yellow geometric rays of sunshine over concentric blue and dark blue circles on a sky blue background."

In truth, we didn't really like it. We prefer something that still better depicts South Dakota in some way, shape or form.

We also wonder about the timing of the flag proposal. Isn't this something that could have waited for a year, to be addressed again in 2013 after other submissions are designed? What's the rush?

We don't have a problem with proposals to change the current state flag, but we prefer there be more than one design proposal and that more time be allowed to consider better ideas.

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