Out with the old and in with the older? Maine flag vote delayed by governor
Mainers who want to replace the current flag with a retro version featuring a simple pine tree and blue star are going to have to wait to have their say
AUGUSTA, Mane (AP) — Mainers who want to replace the current flag with a retro version featuring a simple pine tree and blue north star are going to have to wait a year to have their say.
Democratic Gov. Janet Mills has elected to let the bill become law without her signature, effectively delaying a referendum on the proposed flag swap until next year.
The flag referendum was included in legislation approved by the Legislature on its final day.
The current flag features the state's coat of arms, which includes a pine tree, a moose, a seafarer and a lumberjack, against a blue background. Critics say the current flag is similar to several others states’ flag.
The star-and-tree flag, they contend, is unique. It originally flew in 1901.
The governor, who felt that the debate would be rushed if the proposal were on the November ballot, believes the delay will “allow time for robust public debate and discussion on all sides of the issue,” Mills spokesperson Ben Goodman said.
A stylized retro flag similar to the 1901 flag took the state by storm during the bicentennial year in 2020, appearing on T-shirts, totes and bumper stickers.