Nebraska’s Flag Lacks Pizazz. The Hard Part Is Changing It.

“I remember fields of goldenrod — we had a cornfield literally across the fence in our backyard,” said Ms. Paltiel, who spent her early years in Bennington, Neb., and whose flag proposal was among about 30 submitted through the crowdsourcing effort on skillshare.com, a website offering professional support and training for artists.

State pride is in ample supply here. Residents brag about their unique unicameral Legislature, where lawmakers do not caucus by party, and frequently don scarlet Nebraska T-shirts celebrating the state’s flagship university and its football team, the Cornhuskers.

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A proposed design for the Nebraska flag submitted by Mike Bruening.

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Mike Bruening, via Skillshare

But few seem entranced by the flag, which was adopted in 1925 by superimposing the state seal on a blue background.

Critics say the flag tries to convey too much information, making it hard to decipher from a distance. For a single piece of cloth, there is a lot going on. The flag lists the date of statehood (March 1, 1867) and the state motto (Equality Before the Law) alongside a steamboat, the Missouri River, a cabin, a train, cornstalks and a man wielding a hammer, among other features.

“We don’t have anything that says ‘Oh, hey, that represents Nebraska,’” said Mr. Harr, who cited South Carolina’s iconic palmetto tree and crescent as a successful state flag.

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A design proposal for the Nebraska flag submitted by Catherine O’Brien.

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Catherine O’Brien, via Skillshare

DiAnna Schimek, a former legislator from Lincoln, tried and failed to replace the flag in the early 2000s after attending a national conference of state lawmakers where officials had displayed all the states’ flags on a stage.

“And I…

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