Friday, February 15, 2008

Jackson County Gets a New Flag

Look out, Jackson County.
We’re getting a new county flag this year. And I’m afraid it’s going to be a real doozy.

They say that people get the government they deserve, and I suppose that’s correct. How much can you blame the politicians – for doing what politicians do – when the citizens fail to keep an eye on them?

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners is no exception. Unless people think there’ll be an opportunity to hoot and holler at each other for a few hours, they just skip the meetings. Thus, freed from the scrutiny of a vigilant citizenry, the commissioners proceed to wreak havoc.

I’ll give you an example from a recent board meeting that I DID bother to attend. Where were all the rest of you that night? Huh? You should have been fulfilling your commitment to maintaining freedom and democracy in Jackson County, but nooooo…’s just too much trouble for you to attend.
Sometimes, the populace disgusts me.

But I forgive you. However, I’m finding it more difficult to forgive the county manager.

During that recent meeting of which I speak, Mr. Westmoreland informed the commissioners that Jackson County lacks its own official County flag. As a result, Jackson County will not be represented in the Parade of County Flags during the annual meeting of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners in New Bern this coming August. That is, Jackson County will not be represented in the procession unless we get busy and develop a suitable flag by this summer.

So far, so good, Mr. Westmoreland.

But then, the county manager went too far. He announced that he had already entrusted this sacred responsibility with....get this…JON JICHA'S ART CLASS at Western Carolina University.

Heaven help us!

Obviously, the county manager has not been taking in many student art exhibitions at our local university.

I have.

And based on what I’ve seen, I can tell you right now that the new Jackson County flag will reflect a painful amount of existential angst rather than any artistic proficiency.

Jackson County, is THIS who you want creating the flag that will represent your beloved county?

Hell, the last time I saw a mess like that was on the walls inside Bradley’s old slaughterhouse out past Webster.

Really now, do you want a flag that looks like this?

I figured that by the time college students completed their art training they could paint something a little more advanced than the work of eighth graders at Fairview School.

But from what I’ve seen, they can’t.

If the Jon Jichas and all the other no-talent art professors at WCU were worth their salt, they’d be turning out artists who could paint like Thomas Kinkade or Bob Timberlake. You know, real artists producing beautiful paintings that you’d be proud to hang above your sofa.

But no, they thumb their noses at the sensibilities of sensible people, fling a few gobs of paint onto a canvas, and then concoct some pretentious story to try to justify it. They think they can bullshit us into believing it’s ART.

Some of us aren’t so easily fooled.
But it looks like the county manager fell for it. Where’s former commissioner Roberta Crawford when you need her? Wasn’t it just last year that Roberta said, "Since when did we allow WCU to tell us how to run our county?" Right on!

Let’s put this into perspective. When the Rowan County commissioners found themselves flagless back in 1986, they did what any wise leaders would do. They went to the Condor Flag Company in Charlotte and asked for a flag that would have all five colors of the county seal. And the Condor Flag Company said to the Rowan County Commissioners, "Sure, that’ll be $1200 bucks for a dozen flags. When do you want ‘em?" The minutes from THAT meeting report "the commissioners were asked to think about this matter."

And so at this critical juncture in time, I would ask the Jackson County commissioners to "think about this matter." You’ve handed off a job of historic importance to a bunch of art majors with plucked eyebrows, multiple nose rings, spiked hair, and sullen attitudes. What makes you think they’ll come up with anything as classic as the Catawba County flag:

Or as regal as the Orange County flag :

Or as smartly modern as the Hoke County flag:

Or...umm...with as many BIRDS as the Onslow County flag:

I’d be happy with a Jackson County flag comparable to any of those. But that’s NOT what we’ll get from Jon Jicha’s art class at Western. When they come back with some cock-and-bull story and a flag that looks like this:

...don’t say I didn’t warn you.

While I blame for the county manager for getting us into this mess, the ultimate responsibility goes back to the citizens of Jackson County who thought they were "too busy" to attend that crucial meeting. It’s just like Edmund Burke said:

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

So, come August of this year, when they have the Parade of County Flags at the annual meeting of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, our new flag will make its debut, and at that moment Jackson County will become the laughing stock of the entire Tar Heel state.



Anonymous said...

careful what you say. if the university doesn't like your remarks they might send you a bill.

Western North Carolina Writer's Underground said...

The John Bardo Highway to Hell blogger ought to be rah-rah on the idea of a WCU student designed flag. I wonder if he goes to commissioners meetings?