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Our burly bison

Aug 16, 2012 - By Steven R. Peck

Wyoming's state flag is an ideal choice for a new stamp

Some years ago we poked a bit of fun at the process that resulted in our state's approved design for the Wyoming quarter when the U.S. Mint was coining the popular series of new 25-cent pieces commemorating each state.

As we recall, it took a committee of something like 23 people to come up with the less-than-bold decision to place the ubiquitous bucking horse logo on the Wyoming state quarter.

Nothing against that familiar silhouetted bronc and cowboy, mind you, but it needn't always be the symbol that defines or illustrates the state.

It's nice, then, to anticipate the new U.S postage stamp being unveiled later this month. The Wyoming stamp will feature not the bucking horse and rider that adorns our license plates, our state quarter, the university football team's helmets, and countless other things here, but the Wyoming State flag instead.

Have you ever looked at the rest of the U.S. state flags? With the bias of the opinion acknowledged readily, the Wyoming flag easily is one of the best in America.

To tell the truth, the 50 U.S. state flags do not comprise a particularly inspiring or memorable group, visually or artistically. The bison motif holds its own compared to the California bear, the Colorado C, and the Texas lone star. Alaska's Big Dipper and North Star design is a beauty, but many of the flags have a muddled, jumbled look, or else nothing particularly distinctive to a viewer from outside the state.

That's not so with Wyoming. Taking the size of a postage stamp into consideration, Wyoming's profiled bison is one of the few state flags even suitable for reproduction in a form so small. Track down a display of all the state flags. You'll see.

We can be proud of our state quarter and the inevitable design we gave it. Now we also can smile with satisfaction in knowing that when the U.S. Postal Service went looking for the right flag for its new stamp this year, we rose to the top. Bravo to our burly bison.

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