When it comes to flags, Oregon stands out
Politicians in Oregon like to brag about "The Oregon Way" and other vague terms that are supposed to connote Oregon's distinct Oregonness without actually explaining what that means.
But it turns out there is at least one thing that is actually unique about Oregon.
We're the only U.S. state with a flag that has two different sides, according to The Associated Press, which reported that tidbit in 2010 when what historians believed was the very first Oregon flag was rediscovered at Eastern Oregon University. The then-85-year-old flag was assessed for damage and newly put in a place of prominence.
Oregon's flag was designed and sewn for the first time in 1925, more than 60 years after statehood. The citizens of the state saw fit to create one only after the legislature passed a law requiring it.
Putting on our theorist hats, that could suggest that the idea of an Oregon-specific identity, one that takes pride in symbols such as this, is a slightly more recent development.
Although at one time Alabama, Massachusetts and Minnesota joined Oregon in this Janusian distinction, the Beaver State has been the only holdout among U.S. states. We fall in this camp with the former Soviet Union as well as Spain, Argentina and Bulgaria.
With all that in mind, it begs the question of why a second side is even necessary. Oregon's is a bit anticlimactic, and lacks some gravitas — it depicts a beaver.