Oregon's flag is unique in that it is the only state flag with a different image on each side. The front of the flag represents Oregon at the time of statehood with 33 stars (the number of states in the union at the time) outlining a heart shaped shield. Within the shield, the sun casts its beams upon the Pacific coast, mountains, forests and a covered wagon. The plow, wheat, and pickax stand for farming and mining, and the two ships represent the two countries laying claim to Oregon at one time: Great Britain and the United States. The ship departing is British, the one arriving is American. The eagle represents the United States. Since the state's nickname is The Beaver State, the beaver, the state animal, appears on the back of the flag.
"Sticks and stones are hard on bones
Aimed with angry art,
Words can sting like anything
But silence breaks the heart."
Poet Phyllis McGinley was born on March 21, 1905 in Ontario, Oregon. Even as a teenager McGinley's poetry was published in such distinguished magazines as The New Yorker and the Atlantic. Because her poetry celebrated suburban landscape and home life, she was often dismissed as being a lightweight and whimsical poet, not one to be considered seriously. But her airy verses, which seemed effortless and weightless, carried wit and serious commentary. She also wrote a series of autobiographical essays about being a suburban housewife. She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1961.