It’s one of those things you’re so used to seeing it everywhere that you might not even think about it – the state flag.

Ours is basically the great seal of our state set on a blue background. It’s been  around in one form or another since 1865, and codified as the state flag in 1911.

We have a thing for seals on our flags in this state. Detroit, for instance, incorporates their very intricate city seal on the city flag.

But Rick Devos, the entrepreneur/businessman/founder of ArtPrize (and grandson of the Amway founder), thinks it’s time for a new flag, and he’s put a $500 bounty on it for the designer, with designs to be submitted with the hashtag #MIFlag.

Here’s what Devos said, condensed from a series of Tweets…

I’ve complained several times about how ugly and non-useful the current Michigan state flag is. It’s a big missed opportunity. Michigan has amazing design talent, and a state flag is (or at least can be) a powerful community design asset. Think of it as a public park. Unfortunately our current flag doesn’t function as such. For a positive example look at what CA, CO & others are able to do w/ their flags. So rather than just complain, it would be fun to do something about it, get some forward motion, and not overthink some big process. Selections will ultimately be at my discretion but will certainly be informed by general group feedback. The idea is that one of these could perhaps become a community design asset, I’m not interested in owning anything, so share widely.

For context – here’s an interesting video podcast of a TED talk called “The Worst Designed Thing You’ve Never Noticed,” and talks about poorly designed city flags. Michigan’s flag doesn’t meet many of the design standards talked about in the video – but does it matter?

Share this post