Bringing back ‘Happy birthday, state!’

Sometimes you just gotta start making stuff.

Last year, when it was a state’s birthday, I would give that state a happy birthday by leaving a sticky note on their flag pole. I would research state flag for that particular state, and find some sort of interesting trivia about their flag. That piece of trivia would go on the birthday wish sticky note.

Sticky note birthday wish: Happy birthday, Colorado!
Happy 142nd birthday, Colorado! Your current flag was designed in 1911, because nobody knew about your original state flag which sat in a janitor’s closet at the State Capitol for four years

I’d even try to find the oldest photo of their state flag. Sometimes the very original state flag would be available online.

Sticky note birthday wish: Happy birthday, Missouri!
To the state with the most repetitive flag.

Roadblocks to the ‘happy birthday state’ project

It was a fun project, but I got bogged down in doing the research for each state. Then in the winter, the courtyard with all 50 state flags stopped flying the flags. I guess it’s too cold for flags in the winter?

But today, staring at the empty state flags outside my window, I wanted to grant birthday wishes to the most recent state’s birthday.

Flag poles with no flags
Flag poles with no flags

Massachusetts celebrated their birthday last Tuesday. I had done no research on their flag. Instead, I just write the simple birthday wish and stuck it on the Massachusetts flag pole. I’m hoping that this simple act will spur me on to continue doing this project for all the flags.

I do see myself doing the research for all the states. But sometimes when I don’t have the time, I’ll just write a simple birthday wish.

Sticky note birthday wish: Happy birthday Massachusetts

Plans for the future

Eventually, over the years, all the states will have their own unique piece of state flag trivia. Then I’ll move onto their state quarters. Then to their license plate. Maybe even something about the shape of the state’s outline.

The project could eventually expand out to birthdays of countries, cities, corporations. It would be really nice to have every single day of the year covered.

With the countries and cities, the birthday wish could cover their flag and map outline. With corporations, it could be something about their logo or general branding.

Big ideas. But first I just need to put pen to sticky note paper. And that’s what I did today.

Four hours later

My brother shared with me a link to the story about the building with this state flag plaza: “Aon Center observatory will begin construction this year and open in 2022“.

They are installing an observation deck at the top of their building. Which sounds totally exciting.

Commission approves amended plan for the Aon Center at 200 E. Randolph St. to allow for a new observation deck with an exterior elevator, a “thrill ride” and the construction of North America's tallest glass elevator at 1,185 feet.

However, they are also redesigning their plaza!

Aon center plaza redesign with no state flags

According to their mockups, it seems that the state flags WILL NO LONGER EXIST IN THE PLAZA.

What a way to kick an relaunch of an art project in the nuts

No state flags in their plaza. No place to put my “happy birthday, state” sticky notes! I LOVE those state flags. I see them from my window!

View of Aon Center state flags from my window at work

Enjoyed this blog post?

Join the creatives who receive thoughtful Spudart blog posts via the email newsletter

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x