I am a life-long resident of Idaho. I was born here, went to high school here, met my wife and married her here, and own a house here. If this resume is any indication, I should have a pretty good understanding of what Idaho is like, and I feel I do. That is why when I say that Idaho is a far-right-wing haven and a danger to minorities, my words should be taken seriously.
After the Boise shooting on October 25th, 2021 I wrote, which helped. However, I also wanted to create art to show how Idaho makes me feel, which I had done previously. I figured there would be no better way to do this than modifying the state’s flag.
I know this flag is a bit of a mess, but Idaho’s original flag is a trainwreck and I wanted to invoke that same feeling of poor design. I have packed a lot of symbolism into it and would like to go over some of the bigger ones:
Original: The text within the seal was originally “Great Seal of the State of Idaho”.
Changes: I changed this to say “The New Seal of the State of Idaho”.
Meaning: I want to hit it home that things have changed in Idaho since the creation of this seal, and I want to emphasize what I perceive Idaho to be like today.
Original: The banner at the top originally said “Esto Perpetua” which is Latin for “Last Forever”.
Changes: I changed the banner to say “Quo Itur Unum Imus Omnes”, which is Latin for “Where We Go One We Go All”.
Meaning: This phrase is extraordinarily common in QAnon circles, which is a totally mainstream political line of thought in Idaho.
Original: The Elk’s head, which symbolized all the wildlife in Idaho
Changes: The Elk’s head has been replaced this with the Punisher logo. The Punisher is a Marvel comics character who witnessed the death of his family at the hands of organized crime, and now seeks vigilante revenge and is known for resorting to murder, kidnapping, extortion, coercion, threats of violence, and torture in his campaign against crime.
Meaning: Despite this symbol being so strongly associated with brutality and violence, law enforcement, military personnel, and right-wingers in general have openly embraced this symbol. I feel it accurate reflects a shared belief of many Idahoans, since this is very commonly seen as a bumper sticker or window decal.
Original: The man on the right was originally dressed in a miner’s outfit and had a pickaxe over his shoulder and a shovel in his hand. He symbolized the state’s mining industry and the land’s rich resources.
Changes: I have changed the color of his outfits to be entirely black and also removed his head and gave him a shaved head. I also replaced his mining tools with an AK-47 and a shot gun.
Meaning: The Boise Shooter wore all black clothing, and this man’s outfit is meant to symbolize that. The shaved head is meant to symbolize the skinhead style that is adored by the Aryan Nations, which had a compound in northern Idaho.
Idaho has recklessly designed its gun laws to where anyone can have access to them, including violent and extremists. This lack of gun control has been glorified, and on October 25th, 2021 2 people were sacrificed to this idol.
Changes: I removed the Liberty Cap and replaced is with a “Make America Great Again” hat. I also removed the Scales of Justice from her hands. Additionally, her feet were originally bare, but I gave her red shoes.
Meaning: Idaho is more committed to its political ideologies than actually helping its citizens. This is likely best exemplified with the mask mandate controversy in Idaho. House Bill 339 was introduced in 2021 and would prohibit mask mandates within the state of Idaho. While it didn’t pass, it was well-supported. Just about a month later while the governor was away on business, the Lt. Governor decided to exercise her temporary executive powers and make that now-failed-bill a law in Idaho. The governor would go on to reverse that mandate and call it “irresponsible”, but the fact remains that Idaho is dedicated to prohibiting simple life-saving measures on political grounds.
The woman in my redesign has removed the symbols of justice and liberty and replaced them with either nothing or the symbols of right-wing politics. As a note, I made the woman’s shoes red, so its Trump “from head to toe”.
Original: Cornucopias are meant to symbolize prosperity and abundance.
Changes: I have removed the fruits and vegetables from the cornucopias.
Meaning: Idaho’s minimum wage is only $7.25 ($1,160 per month with 40-hour work weeks and no taxes taken out), while the average 2-bedroom apartment costs $1,000 per month in Boise. Rent alone accounts for 86% of a person’s income, and this doesn’t include utilities, groceries, or car maintenance (since Idaho’s public transportation system is essentially non-existent).
Many people are impoverished in Idaho, and again, this is by design. Every time minimum wage hikes are talked about the bill is shot down almost immediately. Its no surprise that Idaho has one of the highest rates of workers quitting their jobs right now, since they are all so low-paying.
Original: The bundle of wheat at the bottom of the original seal is meant to symbolize Idaho’s industrial agriculture.
Changes: I have replaced the wheat with a red “Q”, which is a symbol for the QAnon conspiracy theory movement.
Meaning: This is a dangerous conspiracy theory that has had deadly consequences on multiple occasions, most noteworthy being the January 6th Insurrection. Idaho has largely embraced this conspiracy theory and its talking points are mainstream here.
The Q’s presence here is meant to show the prominence of conspiracy theory-like thought here.
Original: The original version of the shield shows a mountainous and forested landscape with a man tilling his land. This is meant to symbolize the geographic features of the state as well as the focus on agriculture.
Meaning: The Gadsden Flag was originally created in 1775 and was used by the Continental Marines during the American Revolution. In time it came to symbolize constitutionalism and limited government. In recent years, however, it has taken on as a symbol for the far-right. It was featured many times during the January 6th attack and was also flown by the 2014 Las Vegas shooters. These shooters had been present at the 2014 Bundy Standoff and then just months later would kill 5 people (including themselves) and specifically target law enforcement officers.
The “3%ers” is a far-right wing militia movement that believes that it never took more than 3% of colonists to declare and enforce independence during the American Revolution, and if need be they could likewise suceed during a new civil war. There is quite a lot of overlap with the “Boogaloo” movement, which seeks to start a New Civil War.
The 3%er logo as 3 I’s, and I made the outer ones black and the inner one blue. This is a reference to the “Thin Blue Line” ideology, which puts forward the belief that the only thing preventing civilization from collapsing is the police. This flag and color scheme is quite frequently used to imply unconditional support for the police and is a staple among right-wing icons and symbols.
Idaho is a far-right winger’s promised land. Wages are low, there’s next to no gun control, the governor brags about being “the least regulated state”, and the far-right has a strong grip on the politics here.
Idaho’s patriotism has decayed into outright nationalism. As time goes on I predict that Idaho will keep moving further and further to the right, and minorities, whether they be gender, racial, sexual, or otherwise, will no longer be physically safe here at all.