Fixing the Bad American State (and Territory) Flags

Discussions on flags used in the Americas (South America, Central America, the Caribbean and North America)
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FormerHoosier
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Re: Fixing the Bad American State (and Territory) Flags

Postby FormerHoosier » 19 Oct 2014 05:13

Hello everyone, new to the site here. I was viewing the many proposals to replace the classic American coat of arms or seal on a blue bedsheet and I've seen some great ideas and a few not so great ones. Being originally from northwest Indiana, I truly like Indiana's flag and it's symbolism, the only change I'd make would be to remove the word INDIANA from above the torch as has been suggested here and in other forums. It's quite lovely to see a large one fluttering in the wind as it make the stars "twinkle" and the flames of the torch come to life. I've had an idea for Pennsylvania that's been on my mind for awhile, why not use the state coat of arms as a starting point, staying away from all the state nicknames. Attached are the first 3 variants on a theme.
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Brian E
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Re: Fixing the Bad American State (and Territory) Flags

Postby FormerHoosier » 19 Oct 2014 05:21

And attached are the last 3 variations on a theme.
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Philip S. Tibbetts
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Re: Fixing the Bad American State (and Territory) Flags

Postby Philip S. Tibbetts » 20 Oct 2014 22:57

False Dmitri wrote:Hello! I am new to the forum. Philip's piasa flag for Illinois on this thread came up on an unrelated image search and drew me here. May I suggest this modification - ears of corn replace the wheat design. Maize is more distinctively Illinoisan than wheat. The piasa design is stunningly brilliant.


Hello, False Dmitri, you flatter me with your kind words! Really glad you like the design and the piasa illustration. I'm intrigued as to what you were searching for that drew you to it but I'm glad you came across it & hope the illustration helped with whatever it was!

I also like your modification of the design to include a more corn based field division, which I think is a positive modification. I probably would opt for a slightly more angular version of that pattern if it were possible - perhaps simply making the sides of the corn pattern you have there straighter - just to make it a little easier to sew.

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Re: Fixing the Bad American State (and Territory) Flags

Postby False Dmitri » 22 Oct 2014 06:22

Philip S. Tibbetts wrote:Hello, False Dmitri, you flatter me with your kind words! Really glad you like the design and the piasa illustration. I'm intrigued as to what you were searching for that drew you to it but I'm glad you came across it & hope the illustration helped with whatever it was!

I also like your modification of the design to include a more corn based field division, which I think is a positive modification. I probably would opt for a slightly more angular version of that pattern if it were possible - perhaps simply making the sides of the corn pattern you have there straighter - just to make it a little easier to sew.


That's a very good suggestion as well. I have no idea what the original search was. I instantly recognized the piasa, as someone who's abnormally interested in my state's early history. Unfortunately I think that it would be lost on 99% of Illinoisans.

The piasa flag, and this thread more generally, inspired me to make a few of my own.

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1. Connecticut: The three grapevines in Connecticut's state seal are well and good, but a much more powerful symbol is found in the Charter Oak. King Charles II sent Edmund Andros to New England in 1686 to impose tighter royal control over the unruly colonies. According to legend, he demanded that Connecticut hand over its royal charter in order to revoke the liberties that had been granted the colony. Connecticut's colonists resisted, hiding the charter in an enormous oak tree to keep it out of Andros' hands. The oak is perhaps the oldest symbol of American liberty and it belongs on the flag. The overall form comes from the New England flag, using blue for the field. In the canton, an oak replaces the usual New England pine tree.

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2. Maine: The crest of Maine's coat of arms - that is, the part above the shield - is a star within rays together with the motto "Dirigo" ("I direct"). This is a questionable heraldic crest but makes a distinctive design for a flag. The flag uses the Revolutionary colors of buff and blue that were found on Maine's first flag of 1901.

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3. New Hampshire: For New Hampshire I suggest a simple bicolor of purple and white. Purple is an unofficial state color of New Hampshire because of its state bird, the purple finch, and its state flower, the purple lilac. White represents the White Mountains. The single star represents New Hampshire's historic role as the first state to declare its independence from Great Britain.

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4. Utah: Utah's most prominent state symbol, the beehive, is a necessary part of any state flag. On this flag it appears on a field of blue, representing the desert sky and the Great Salt Lake, over stripes of red and gold representing the incomparable rocky landscape of the state.
(The base of this flag comes from the United We Stand project by Bresslergroup, a set of state flag designs that feature uniform colors and symbolism. Their Utah flag had this design with a star and blue and white stripes, probably influenced by the "Deseret Flag" that may have been flown by early Mormon settlers. I added the beehive and changed the colors.)

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Re: Fixing the Bad American State (and Territory) Flags

Postby FormerHoosier » 23 Oct 2014 01:43

bandk1 wrote:A little different Indiana. I like the torch and rays from the current flag bacause it's unique. The rays demonstrate the whole "Crossroads of America" theme as well. On the right I've included the checkered flag from one of the most famous things in the state, the Indianapolis 500.

As a person born and raised in the northwest corner of the Indiana, that design doesn't represent anyone outside of the Speedway area of Indianapolis. (Personally, I didn't care for the state quarter much either, race car and all.) The flag is graphically interesting but limited in who it could represent.
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Marcus Wendel
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Re: Fixing the Bad American State (and Territory) Flags

Postby Marcus Wendel » 25 Oct 2014 13:27

Thanks for the latest new suggestions posted in the thread.

/Marcus

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Re: Fixing the Bad American State (and Territory) Flags

Postby VoronX » 24 Jul 2015 21:08

Wow! I started this thread 5 years ago, and I am amazed and delighted at how much thought and creativity has gone into it since then. At some point I would like to collate all the many suggestions for each state into a document/collection to be seen side-by-side. I haven't had much time for this lately, but I look forward to the day when I can.

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False Dmitri
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Re: Fixing the Bad American State (and Territory) Flags

Postby False Dmitri » 29 Jul 2015 05:56

Have you seen the Vexilology Wiki? Pretty much every flag here is on it, and many more besides. http://vexillology.wikia.com/wiki/Vexillology_Wiki

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ododobe
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Re: Fixing the Bad American State (and Territory) Flags

Postby ododobe » 14 Mar 2016 13:39

This is quite a challenge and unfortunately one that I don't think will get fixed in a big hurry.
There is only one thing you can say about bureaucracy when it come to design. Bugger off!
Having listened a number of times to Roman Mars Ted Talk it is obvious that when a group of
bureaucrats get together to design a flag everyone wins.

Enough said about the problem, it is great to see some of the solutions and ideas here and on
other sites linked to from here.
And here is my ten cents worth.

Starting from the bottom of the NAVA survey I skipped Georgia, who think they have fixed the
problem so they are unlikely to change again, so first up is Nebraska.

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Based on the Great Seal that they use on the current flag i have taken the wheat and anvil that figure prominently.
The two circles are symbolic of the two wheels represented, train wheel and riverboat wheel.

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Next is Montana. Not my best work but going on the states nickname as the blue sky state the main colours are a given. The rest of the symbols are the snow covered white mountains to the west and wide open spaces across the rest of the state. The golden yellow line represents the thier other nickname "the treasure state". I did try to through a plough in there, from the seal, but it looked stupid and out of place. Plus ploughs and wheat seem to be on lots of seals.

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Next up is Kansas. Here there seems to be a strong affinity towards their state flower the Wild Sunflower. So Sun Flower they get, on a blue background, as is the current flag, and two white stripes with a total of 34 stars as they were the 34th state to sign up to the union which is indicated on their state seal. The white however was not significant but more to break up the sea of blue and give it a bit more pop. You could however read it from top to bottom, or visa versa, and with the first white stripe being Jan - Feb: snow; march - oct: no snow; nov - dec: snow again. Just kidding.

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South Dakota. The Rushmore State? So the only thing they want to be known for or to be represented by is the national monument. Don't get me wrong it is impressive, not that I have seen it in person, but I think it needs something else. So the research coughed up an unofficial nickname of The Sunshine State, sure Florida has the dibs on that, and talk of a lot of Coyotes, So, voila. A solid round sun looked blah with the coyote on it so the rippling of the bottom half gives it depth. The stars (40) are a take them or leave them prospect but think they add a nice border to the design and of course are symbolic of SD's place in the Union.
The second version is the one they use in the winter with a snow drift. Just kidding, although it could represent the winter recreation aspect of SD.

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The North Star State that claims to be The Star of the North. Hmmm. Stars maybe. Looking at the mess of of the great seal there was little else unique about it with the usual suspects all there. However it does have 19 stars on it with one being larger to represent the North Star. So that is what this is. Now further explanation is needed for the three stars across the horizon of the flag. Polaris, the scientific name for the North Star is actually a cluster of three stars with on being much bigger and brighter than the other two. Ipso facto the three stars represent those of the Polaris. The shape of the biggest star is derived from the current Flag that two symbols like this on the bottom of the seal. It also is reminiscent of a compass.

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I know Florida wasn't next but when I saw the Spanish Flag that originally flew over the state i got a little excited and had to have a go. Using the Spanish flag colours, red - gold - red, to fill the cross it seemed to lack a bit oompf. Adding the red in areas to the hoist and fly made it a more solid design and in some ways is a nod to the signal for F-foxtrot, albeit only when laid end to end.

So that is my start and I realise that some of the designs have parts that are not strictly representative of something but I do feel that if they improve the overall look then why not? Having stuck each one up the flagpole ( http://www.flagtest.nz ) and looked at them in flight and rested some of these additions were necessary to help certain aspects stand out.

Look forward to hear your thoughts and any suggestions.
Nathan Stevens
Amatuer Vexillologist / Professional Graphic Designer
New Zealand

Flag Explanation:Red, Black, White stripes on the hoist represent Tino Rangatiratanga, Maori Heritage, the Black and White on the fly represent Cornish ancestry.

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ododobe
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Re: Fixing the Bad American State (and Territory) Flags

Postby ododobe » 16 Mar 2016 23:48

Apologies for the missing pictures but instead of deleting a single image I managed to delete and entire Photobucket album.
Nathan Stevens
Amatuer Vexillologist / Professional Graphic Designer
New Zealand

Flag Explanation:Red, Black, White stripes on the hoist represent Tino Rangatiratanga, Maori Heritage, the Black and White on the fly represent Cornish ancestry.


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