And over in the NHL -- where players have often worn their national flags on their chests and sleeves during all-star games -- the Colorado state flag was the basis for the old Rockies jerseys back in the late '70s, and the Ohio flag (which of course is the coolest of all the state flags, because it's the only one that's not rectangular) is now showcased on the Blue Jackets' alternate jersey.

As for international flags, they'll no doubt get elevated way above shoe-tongue status next March, when the World Baseball Classic gets under way. Lots of flags were featured on the WBC uniforms that appeared at a recent press conference, although Uni Watch has been told that those were just placeholder designs that were whipped up quickly for photo-op purposes. The final designs might end up looking more like the ones used in the 2004 Olympics, in which some of the baseball uniforms had flags, but others looked more like they were flags.

One final note: Remember when MLB teams wore those futuristic uniforms back in 1999? The weirdest thing about that promotion was that the Phillies augmented their futurist jersey with a sleeve patch of a 77-star American flag. Uni Watch has long wondered about this -- were the Phillies predicting a revival of Manifest Destiny? The balkanization of Pennsylvania? The spirit of, uh, '77? If anyone has any insights, speak up, and Uni Watch will print the best responses in a future column.

Paul Lukas enjoys pointing out that not a single U.S. state flag includes the color purple. His full-length "Uni Watch" columns run on alternating Thursdays, while "Uni Watch: Weekend Update" appears each Monday. Archives of his columns are available here, here, and here. Got feedback for him, or want to be added to his mailing list? Contact him here.



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