Maine lawmakers on Wednesday rejected a bill that would have restored the state’s original flag.
The House of Representatives voted 91 to 57 to kill LD 115, sponsored by Rep. Sean Paulhus, D-Bath, dooming the latest move to again raise the pine tree and blue star flag.
Throughout the 19th century, Maine didn’t have an official flag. Nor did most states until the 1880s. Maine finally adopted a state flag in March 1901, when it christened the lone pine flag, David Martucci, a former president of the North American Vexillological Association, told the Legislature’s State and Local Government Committee last month.
That flag flew until 1909, when the state switched to the familiar blue flag sporting poles today.
There have been numerous efforts in recent decades — including in 1991, 1996 and 2019 — to restore the original flag. But none succeeded.
But in recent years, the lone pine flag has grown in popularity, with supporters praising its simple design that stands out among a field of blue flags emblazoned with a state seal.
Paulhus told The Times Record that Mainers have “embraced” the lone pine flag and that he often sees it flying on houses.
“These flags can be seen in nearly every town in Maine while the official blue flag is seldom seen,” Martucci testified last month.
But those arguments yet again failed to sway lawmakers and lovers of Maine’s current flag. So, for now, the lone pine flag will unofficially fly on porches and poles across the state.