The Maine hockey sweater is the most popular design in our State Sweaters lineup, but the simple design begs the question of why? What’s the story behind it?
The design depicted on our sweater is actually representative of the Maine flag that was official over a century ago; it is the 1901 flag design. The flag only stayed in production for eight years before it was replaced by the current blue flag with the Maine coat of arms (1909 - Present).
Current Maine State Flag (Public Domain License)
The 1901 design was the first Maine flag even though Maine became a state- separate from Massachusetts- over 80 years prior. The original Maine flag features a multi-dimensional pine tree and a blue star on a cream background. The pine tree represented the state's New England ties as pine trees had been found on regional flags since the 1600s. In addition, Maine is known affectionately as the "Pine Tree State".
Unfortunately, the stylistic 1901 tree design was so complex it was tough to replicate, which is one of a couple reasons historians believe the state moved on after only eight years. There are no true copies left of the original tree design, only photographs and artistic renderings which is the reason there are a handful of reproductions out there including the Third Assist design.
Erik in a Maine State Sweater (2022)
Third Assist's Main State Flag Tree Rendering
Thanks to some cool local companies and initiatives, the original Maine flag has regained popularity in the last decade. A competitive bill even made it to the state legislature in 2021 to revert the flag back to the original design, but the votes ultimately fell short. With our foundations in coastal Maine, we chose the design to represent the proud Maine hockey tradition- plus we didn’t hate the fact it had some resemblance to old Hartford Whalers colors.
So what do you think of the design? Know more of the history? Feel free to share your thoughts below