The feet on the Virginia state flag and seal are disgusting. Virginia deserves better.
On July 1, 1776, four Virginians were appointed to a committee to design a new state seal and flag for the newly independent Virginia colony. The four men on that committee were Richard Henry Lee, George Mason, George Wythe, and Robert Carter Nicholas Sr. All four of these men were patriots. Mason participated in crafting the American Constitution and now has a university bearing his name. Wythe's signature is on the Declaration of Independence.
While the history is a little fuzzy, most historians point to Wythe for playing the largest role in designing the seal. The men's anti-British attitudes ended up showing through in the final Virginia state seal design: a virtuous soldier standing over the defeated corpse of tyranny, symbolizing Virginia's victory over Great Britain. The design was immediately accepted and sent off to be added to the Virginia state flag. Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson even had bronze medals (bearing the iconic seal) made to be handed out as awards.
Listen, I get it. The design is nice. It is symbolic and represents the revolutionary spirit that Revolutionary War Virginia was known for. But I can't help but wonder whether anyone really bothered to look at Wythe's design. If they had, surely they would have noticed that the virtuous soldier's feet were ... pretty funky. If you've never bothered to look at the feet in the Virginia state flag, here you go.
Seriously, what are we looking at here? The soldier's right foot—specifically the big toe—looks like it has a serious case of Elephantitis. For a drawing, most of the toes on the right foot are actually not that bad. Sure, they only drew four toes on the foot, but those are minor details. I could look over the artist's inability to count if he had drawn an actual big toe. But no, he drew a club. It looks more like a strong chin than a digit. How could anyone possibly have drawn that foot and submitted it to be featured on the Virginia state flag and seal? And do you see that bunion? That bunion is literally larger than some of the toes. I understand the need to have a seal that the common man can relate to, but come on ...
In case you thought maybe the soldier's right foot was a fluke, the left foot seriously makes me wonder whether the four men on this committee had ever seen feet before. First of all, those toes look like cloverleaves. You know it, and I know it. It looks like the artist drew half of a four-leaf clover, realized he was supposed to be drawing a foot, and just ran with it. See the tiniest toe on the left foot? That's supposed to be the big toe.
When I saw this, I actually lifted up my feet to make sure I was seeing the perspective correctly. The big toe is completely in the wrong place. It should be on the inside. Some of Virginia's greatest historical patriots actually approved a state seal design where the main character was given two right feet. And what's going on with those middle two toes on the left foot? I don't even have an explanation for that. Obviously, people have tried to cover up these glaring anatomical irregularities. Many Virginia state flags now try to fix the right foot by hiding it behind the tyrant's arm. It's a nice try, but we all know it's there.
All this time, I thought that the dispatched tyrant's face was turned away in defeat, recognizing that his brutal reign was coming to a close. But now, it is clear to me that his face is turned away in shame. I can't blame him. I can only imagine what it would feel like to be defeated by a man with monkey feet.