Mo. flag panel appears to be waste of time

As a state, we face a number of issues. Missouri's General Assembly will debate many topics that could affect those of us who call the Show Me State home.

Whether it's taxes, health care, education funding or any other issue, legislators have plenty to do this session. That's why we're a bit confused one state legislator would like to spend valuable time -- and funding from the office of the secretary of state -- on forming a panel to consider changes to Missouri's state flag.

There is more significance to Missouri's flag in this area. It was designed by Cape Girardeau resident Marie Watkins Oliver in 1913 at the Oliver-Leming House. Oliver was the wife of state Sen. R.B. Oliver.

During the centennial anniversary year of the flag, a special event was held in town to commemorate the local connection. As was reported in a recent Southeast Missourian story, the flag includes the Missouri coat of arms, two grizzly bears and the Missouri motto.

The idea to look at the flag was included in House Bill 1241, sponsored by Democratic state Rep. Jeff Roorda from Barnhart. The bill would establish a panel of eight, representing each of the state's congressional districts, to be appointed by the governor. The secretary of state or designated individual would serve as chairman.

The commission, whose members would not be compensated or reimbursed for expenses, would hold public hearings statewide and receive proposals to "standardize or modify" the flag. A report would be sent to the governor, secretary of state and general assembly.

Sure, we're partial. It's neat that Missouri's flag was designed by a Cape Girardeau woman. The flag is a piece of history that has lasted more than 100 years. More importantly, Missouri has more pressing issues to debate. Modifying the state flag doesn't rank high on our list of things to do.