Top Ten Worst American State Flags

Thank Goodness for Old Glory

Before I get started on some of the rather “unusual” state flags in this country, I just want to say how much I love our flag.  And when I say “our” flag, I mean the American flag–the good old flag of the US of A. Now that is one beautiful flag, with thought and history behind it. I love that the whole design is representative of our country at its birth: the stars on the blue background representing the states in the union and the 13 stripes representing the original 13 colonies that rebelled against England.  It’s a history and a flag that fills me with the pride of being an American. And even though the design of the flag was decided upon a resolution in 1777, it’s Betsy Ross everyone thinks of when it comes to our first flag.  How lucky we were to have her.  Some states were not so lucky.

New Jersey – Before I go on my state flag rampage, I want to make sure no one gets his or her underwear in a bunch.  If I poke a little fun at your flag, don’t take it to heart. I’m not making fun of you personally. And to show that I can be fair, the first flag I’ll review is my own state’s flag, New Jersey.  Now a lot of states use their state seal or crest on their state flags and there’s nothing wrong with that.  So New Jerseyans decided to plop their seal dead center in their flag. It’s not a bad idea but who came up with that background color? Is is muted peach? Faded mustard? Fleshtone? Did someone say, “Hey, we got a lot of this ugly colored fabric lying around. Why don’t we make a flag out of it?”…

Alabama – This is one of my favorite flags. I bet they stayed up all night thinking up this one up. Obviously when the citizens of Alabama decided to create their flag, they wanted to do something special and historic. So what would be better than signing your flag, just like our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence?  Unfortunately it seems that everyone involved in the flag making process only knew how to sign their name with an “X”.  That’s how you end up with a flag with a big old X across it. But not just any old X – A Big Fat Red X.  What could possibly be worse?

Florida – I’ll tell you what’s worse:  Stealing your neighboring state’s flag and slapping your state’s seal in the middle and calling it your own. That’s what Florida did. What did they think, nobody would notice? Besides, it sorta looks like a lame Hallmark gold seal except they obviously didn’t care to send the very best.

Alaska – This is the flag from the state that gave us Sarah Palin. Obviously, Russia isn’t the only thing she can see from  her front porch. Is it the little or big dipper? And do we even care? And what about that lone star hanging up on top? What does that represent? Where’s the history? Did the big/little dipper inspire the hundreds of insane people who left their comfortable home states to live in the untamed Alaskan wilderness where they froze to death eating whale blubber? Maybe the designer froze to death before he finished the flag.

Colorado – Okay, when I first saw this flag I thought to myself, “How did Commerce Bank manage to get its logo on a state flag?” But no, that’s not Commerce Bank, it’s Colorado.  And this is the type a flag you get when someone designs your flag on Photoshop using the logo creator add-on.

New Mexico – Next to the big red X, this is the plainest state flag ever created. Not to be outdone by New Jersey and Alabama, the folks in New Mexico decided to pick an ugly mustard background and apply a small Westerny-Indianish-Airplane-like image in the color of clay. Was this made with an Etch-A-Sketch?

South Carolina – Here’s a flag that looks incomplete. It’s like South Carolina got Dr. Seuss to do their flag and he gave up a quarter of the way into it.  I know that there are palm trees under the moon in South Carolina but I bet you could get better designs from a high school freshman using an iPad.

Hawaii – Obviously Hawaii was confused about what country they actually belonged to when they became the 50th state of the Union. Perhaps someone needs to tell them that we’re no longer English colonies.

Nevada – I understand that Nevada might want to put its seal on its flag. Many states do. But what could be more lazy than slapping a small version of your seal in the upper left corner of a blue swatch of material and calling it a flag? How does blue represent Nevada?

Maryland – I’ve saved the best for last.  This flag truly invokes the “WTF” reflex in me. It looks like someone swallowed a bunch of ugly 80s colors and threw them up on the flag. Or maybe Maryland is the NASCAR state? It sure looks like a flag you might see waving at a racetrack to warn the drivers that a very messy accident was ahead. Seriously folks, did anyone look at this flag before they accepted it?

Well there you have my Top Ten Worst State Flags. You gotta admit, as flags go, these guys need a little work.


21 thoughts on “Top Ten Worst American State Flags

  1. Antonio says:

    How audacious; all I can say is that having been in the military and stationed around this great country, people have always been quite fond of my state flag related memorabilia. I’ve never seen any other state rep their flag the way South Carolina does.

  2. Steve says:

    The Vexilogical Association would disagree with you. New Mexico was voted BEST flag out of all US flags and Canadian flags. Also in the top 10 were Maryland, South Carolina, and Alaska.

    You suck.

    • And Colorado. Colorado has an excellent flag according to real flag design principles, about which this blatherer clearly knows nothing. Alabama, South Carolina, Hawai’i, Alaska and maybe even Maryland do as well. The color of New Jersey’s might be irrelevant. I can’t imagine what this dork thinks is a good flag.

  3. Scott says:

    Not to be pretentious, but the flags of Florida and Alabama likely bear such similar resemblance because they were designed to loosely represent the Spanish “Cross of Burgundy” flag, which was flown over both states during their time under the control of Spain. Though Alabama did adopt theirs about five years prior to Florida. About Alaska, though, it’s the Big Dipper and the other star is Polaris, the north star, which can be found by following the imaginary line created by the two stars on the right side of the Dipper. More random and somewhat useless facts from Scott. Now you know, and knowing’s half the battle!

  4. OK says:

    The big star on the Alaska flag is the north star which can be seen by following the last two stars of the big dipper.

    I think you are right about Florida’s flag though.

  5. Scott says:

    You are a complete idiot. The North American Vexillological Association–you know, the people who actually KNOW about flags and what makes a good design–named New Mexico’s flag the best design of any state or province. In fact, most of the flags on your list of “worst” were on their list of “best.” The only sense this makes is that you are probably from a state with a totally lame, ugly flag, and you are lashing out at the states with truly great flags, and showing your complete ignorance in the process.

    • Scott, I was just giving my “opinion” based on how the flags looked to me. I never claimed to be an “expert” when it came to flags. I was just poking fun at some flags that I thought were “ugly” or “plain”. But honestly, if you or any “society” thinks that a white flag with a big red X on it is “truly great”, I’d have to question who the real “idiot” is.

  6. It’s too bad you know nothing about good flag design. Your reasons for liking the US flag are spot on, as far as principles of flag design, but you clearly didn’t apply that understanding elsewhere like to Alaska and Colorado. Slapping a State Seal on a field generally yields a poor design; simple graphics usually lead to a meaningful and recognizable symbol of a group or locale.

  7. Loud says:

    I’m a Marylander and I think the flag is hideous. They are Lord Calvert’s coat of arms and his grandmothers. The guy had his own coat of arms; just use his. The colors don’t go together.

  8. MD says:

    Wow, obviously taste is subjective, but I disagree with almost every one of these…
    My top flags are MD (I’m biased), South Carolina, Hawaii, and New Mexico. Sooo yeah, hooray for diversity of opinion I guess?

  9. nuuuu says:

    please search the back rounds of what the state flags mean some of these flags are the top 10 on many websites. and also the Maryland flag is pretty unusual im a Marylander and i’m actually proud of it because it makes it unique.

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