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State Flag Rankings

Hink

OH....IO
Staff member
Moderator
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15,608
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49
So there are a lot of discussions going on right now about the Mississippi flag, it's history, and whether it should be updated. That made me look into the flag and realize how absolutely terrible the design of many State flags are. It made me think of this TED talk I saw a while ago.


So just so we can all agree on something, I am ranking my top 5 State Flags. What about you? Does your state suck as bad as Connecticut?

Top 5:
1. Ohio (unique shape wins the day ;))
2. Maryland. Super unique, very cool, and doesn't have a stupid seal or emblem on it.
3. South Carolina. Very iconic because it is simple and used on everything.
4. Texas. It is simple and boring, but is used well, and is able to be used in marketing because of that.
5. Colorado. That C is used everywhere, because it is simple and designed well.

Bottom 3:
1. Hawaii. There is A LOT going on there.
2. Mississippi. Seriously. Change it.
3. Any state that just put the seal on the flag. That is terrible and you shouldn't do that.

Other interesting states:
Alaska. I mean who doesn't like the big dipper?
Indiana. Somewhat complex, but translates well to create a unique brand.
Oklahoma. Symbolism and simplicity.
New Mexico. Clean and clear.
Washington. Hilarious. Why not just put a giant head of Washington on your flag?
DC. Not a state (yet) but very simple and works in my mind.
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
25,582
Points
59
1. New Mexico


The North American Vexillological Association (NAVA) is a membership organization devoted to vexillology , the scientific and scholarly study of flags.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
10,367
Points
43
So there are a lot of discussions going on right now about the Mississippi flag, it's history, and whether it should be updated. That made me look into the flag and realize how absolutely terrible the design of many State flags are. It made me think of this TED talk I saw a while ago.


So just so we can all agree on something, I am ranking my top 5 State Flags. What about you? Does your state suck as bad as Connecticut?

Top 5:
1. Ohio (unique shape wins the day ;))...
Can a pennant really be considered a flag?

I recall listening to somebody from the North American Vexillological Association a while back and according to them, the general consensus is that a "good" flag should have no more the 3 colors and not include and words or numbers. They are also not fans of just slapping a state or city seal on a flag and calling it a day.

Even though the Maryland flag has four colors, I agree that it's a good one. New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and South Carolina are some of my other favorites. The Texas flag isn't bad but it's sort of boring. I prefer the Puerto Rico flag.

American Samoa has a pretty bad ass flag too:
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
10,367
Points
43
Internationally, I always really liked the flags of:

Bhutan


Kiribati


Lebanon


Mozambique (I mean, who doesn't want an AK-47 and a garden tool on their flag?)


Macedonia (maybe my favorite)


Seychelles


Sri Lanka
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,534
Points
69
Somewhat off-topic: in my opinion, it's a shame that early Americans broke away from European heraldic tradition when it came to early municipal branding. The outcome - state, county, and city/town/village seals, instead of coats of arms, that all kind of look alike.

I'm not a "Europe is superior" kind of person, but they have the US beat when it comes to graphics representing municipal and regional identity. European municipal shields that were probably conceived by single nobleman, monk, vexillographer, or old time equivalent of a graphic designer. Municipal seals in the US look like (and most probably were) designed by a committee. The committee tried to cram everything that represents local history or heritage onto them, to make everybody happy.

80% of American towns share a nearly identical history -- Jebediah Valleyview was the first white man to settle in Valleyview, the traditional home of the proud Ontaruronigan Indians, and he opened a stage tavern on a plank road, and his brother Ezekiel followed from New England, opening the first grist mill, blah blah blah, bog iron furnaces, blacksmith, farms, Methodist church, canal, plow factory, lumber mill, railroad, horse market, The Great Flood of 18-something-something, etc. You could say the same thing about the themes of American municipal seals. The same tropes apply: some white guy with a musket, grain, gears, a tree, an ear of corn, a canal boat, a steam locomotive, a stereotypical Native American wearing a headdress, a waterwheel, a smokestack, and maybe some prominent building like a courthouse or city hall. In Texas, it's seals with variants of stars.

danville.jpg
Yawn. It doesn't get any more generic than this.

lowell.png
Typical.

gardena.jpg
Trolling NUMTOTs.

compton.png
That's not what I think of when I think of Compton.

pawnee.png
A classic.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
10,367
Points
43
Somewhat off-topic: in my opinion, it's a shame that early Americans broke away from European heraldic tradition when it came to early municipal branding. The outcome - state, county, and city/town/village seals, instead of coats of arms, that all kind of look alike.

I'm not a "Europe is superior" kind of person, but they have the US beat when it comes to graphics representing municipal and regional identity. European municipal shields that were probably conceived by single nobleman, monk, vexillographer, or old time equivalent of a graphic designer. Municipal seals in the US look like (and most probably were) designed by a committee. The committee tried to cram everything that represents local history or heritage onto them, to make everybody happy.

80% of American towns share a nearly identical history -- Jebediah Valleyview was the first white man to settle in Valleyview, the traditional home of the proud Ontaruronigan Indians, and he opened a stage tavern on a plank road, and his brother Ezekiel followed from New England, opening the first grist mill, blah blah blah, bog iron furnaces, blacksmith, farms, Methodist church, canal, plow factory, lumber mill, railroad, horse market, The Great Flood of 18-something-something, etc. You could say the same thing about the themes of American municipal seals. The same tropes apply: some white guy with a musket, grain, gears, a tree, an ear of corn, a canal boat, a steam locomotive, a stereotypical Native American wearing a headdress, a waterwheel, a smokestack, and maybe some prominent building like a courthouse or city hall. In Texas, it's seals with variants of stars.

View attachment 48488
Yawn. It doesn't get any more generic than this.

View attachment 48489
Typical.

View attachment 48492
Trolling NUMTOTs.

View attachment 48493
That's not what I think of when I think of Compton.

View attachment 48494
A classic.
Before scrolling all the way down in your post I thought to myself, "What was the Pawnee, IN flag/seal again?" Google didn't disappoint. It looks like you had the same thought.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,534
Points
69
Municipal flags: there's something about the Albuquerque, New Mexico flag that screams "People's Repubic."

abq.png

Buffalo has a badass city flag.

buffalo_flag.png
 

MD Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
2,323
Points
34
Being from Maryland I am partial to the flag. Although I hate how the University of Maryland has used it so awfully in some of their sports uniforms. Now being in South Carolina I really like the flag here too. Like Hink said, it's iconic and very simplistic but it's cool. A few months ago I looked up some info about it and interestingly enough, there are no standards for the size and placement of the palm and crescent on the flag or even the background color.
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,396
Points
33
New Mexico has long been my favorite. Simplicity, culture, geography all nicely executed. I've always loved the Ohio pennant as well.

I'm a bad Texan... I don't like its flag. It gets mixed up with Chile as well. There is a better historic flag called the DeZavala Flag (blue field with white star).



Or go with the original national flag of Texas:

 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
2,708
Points
37
Fort Worth is pretty straightforward. We're known as Cowtown (but then again so is Oklahoma City, but that's beside the point):


It's got words, meh, but it also has a good icon, although sometimes comes in conflict with the UT logo:


We have a secondary logo as well: the panther. The most prominent municipal display of the panther as a logo is on the police badges


...and you see a lot of businesses called "Panther City This" and Panther Island That." Panther City is challenging Cowtown as the nickname of the city. It has a long history, as told by blogger Mike Nichols:
On February 2, 1875 Robert E. Cowart, a Dallas lawyer who had formerly lived in Fort Worth, wrote a tongue-in-cheek article in the Dallas Daily Herald in which he claimed that Fort Worth had become such a sleepy “suburban village” that one night a panther had come up from the river bottom, had wandered the downtown streets “at his own sweet will,” and had laid down to sleep on a major city thoroughfare...

Rather than take umbrage, Fort Worth took advantage. Rather than “say nothing about the fact that a ‘panther’ had been in their street,” Fort Worth residents embraced the panther story, made it their own.
So we became Panther City. There is also a Panther Island which is not an island at all (yet) but just a loop in the Trinity River as it approaches downtown. I say yet because there is a project to divert the river but leave the loop in place, which will create a geographical feature similar to San Antonio's River Walk where the diversion channel handles runoff from heavy rains, leaving the downtown loop flood-free and therefore open to development right up to the banks. If they ever finish the project which was started ten years ago, there will be a Panther Island under the Panther Island Brewery.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
14,642
Points
51
For state flags I tend to like the ones that aren't a blue field with stuff on it, although the Texas one above isn't bad. I look at Arizona (bias) and New Mexico. California isn't bad, but it doesn't work for me.
 

Big Owl

Cyburbian
Messages
2,625
Points
30
NC's flag could be better. We shouldn't let SC be the Carolina with the better flag.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
28,261
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71
We have a secondary logo as well: the panther. The most prominent municipal display of the panther as a logo is on the police badges


...and you see a lot of businesses called "Panther City This" and Panther Island That."
I'm not sure if today I would choose a carnivorous predator as the symbol of a police department. Just sayin'
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
2,708
Points
37
Oddly, our PD has been pretty mellow through the protests. The second night the police chief and the protest leader took a knee and said a prayer together. Not that they don't have their problems, but they've been pretty decent with the protesters.
 
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