U.S. State Flags Ranked From Best to Worst

I recently finished my state flags quiz. It took a lot of boring work to finish. So I rewarded myself by writing this fun article, ranking the state flags from best to worst.

Note: All rankings are completely subjective and arbitrary.

#1. New Mexico
Clean, simple, elegant, and instantly recognizable.
#2. Alaska
Each star on the flag represents one of Alaska's 8 citizens.
#3. Maryland
I have no idea what's going on with this flag but it somehow manages to be awesome.
#4. South Carolina
A simple and beautiful design from the Palmetto state.
#5. Oklahoma
A beautiful flag that represents Oklahoma's native American heritage.
#6. Wyoming
In addition to having by far the best license plate, Wyoming has a pretty solid state flag as well.
#7. Michigan
This flag's motto states "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you". An apt description of Detroit.
#8. Arizona
Comrades unite! Together under our glorious emperor we will rule all nations!
#9. California
This bear looks a little lethargic. In fairness its is a pretty honest depiction of bears.
#10. South Dakota
#11. Colorado
#12. Nevada
#13. Kansas
#14. New York
#15. Washington
#16. Vermont
#17. Wisconsin
#18. Montana
#19. Kentucky
Kentucky: The state where fur trappers and businessmen live in harmony
#20. Louisiana
#21. New Jersey
Inspired by the Headless Horseman, New Jersey's flag features a bodyless horse.
#22. Illinois
We have now arrived at the screamin' eagle contigent.
#23. Utah
#24. North Dakota
#25. Iowa
#26. New Hampshire
#27. Arkansas
#28. Indiana
Would be enhanced with a brighter shade of yellow
#29. Delaware
#30. Idaho
#31. Maine
#32. Minnesota
#33. Missouri
#34. North Carolina
#35. Nebraska
#36. Massachusetts
#37. Florida
#38. Virginia
I like the sentiment, but the choice of apparel seems strange. Also, what is that mysterious gray object?
#39. West Virginia
I can't decide if the yellow garland is shaped like sausages, macaroni noodles, or intestines.
#40. Tennessee
One of these stars is a third wheel.
#41. Texas
Blatantly plagiarized from Chile.
#42. Connecticut
This flag looks a little too English for my taste.
#43. Alabama
In the words of Lynyrd Skynyrd, "a simple kind of flag".
#44. Ohio
This impossible-to-fold flag has a seemingly random arrangement of stars.
#45. Oregon
Drop the Comic Sans. On the plus side, the back of the flag has a beaver on it.
#46. Rhode Island
Bold choice to go with the square-shaped flag. Also there appears to be a missing border.
#47. Pennsylvania
The classic matching colors of navy blue and black give this flag its visual appeal.
#48. Hawaii
The Union Jack is a cool flag. Putting the Union Jack on a state flag is not cool. Get your act together Hawaii.
#49. Georgia
Until 2001, the Georgia flag incorporated the flag of the Confederacy. But after public pressure, they changed it to use .... the battle flag of the Confederacy.
#50 Mississippi
Mississippi I think you know why you're here.
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level 63
Jun 17, 2016
Poor Hawai'i and Mississippi. The Confederacy makes battle flag as a canton really makes it look as if it were a state in the CSA (even though it doesn't exist). And I know Hawai'i was a British colony, but why do they continue having the Union Jack is beyond me. It makes it look like it is a British Overseas Territory, which it isn't. I personally like the bear on the Californian flag. It depicts a bear that is extinct (forgot its name and I am to lazy to go look right now).
+2
level 63
Jun 17, 2016
Also (Warning: Rant incoming), I've always found annoying that nearly every state has their seal and their name in the flag. Were the producers of these flags lazy or what? A flag is suppose to be original, not the seal and the name of your state/country/province, ect. Imagine a country having it's name and seal on its flag (though some countries do have at least the seal, but not every single country and no country has their name on their flag, as far as I remember), that would be horrible and unoriginal. Also, Texas how dare you plagiarize Chile. It has also caused confusion in which the Chilean flag was used in a ballot instead of the Texan flag. Also, funny descriptions and cool list. I mostly agree with it
+2
level 58
Jun 20, 2016
As a Texan, I don't believe Texas plagiarized Chile. I actually think it's a coincidence, and I'll tell you why. The first Texan flag, back when Texas was its own country, was approved by President Sam Houston in 1836, which showed a yellow five-pointed star in the middle of the flag with a light blue background. As you can tell, it was bad. However, this star would become the famous "Lone Star." The next flag was approved by President Lamar, which pushed the star to the left and pushed back the blue background to make room for a yellow stripe and a red stripe, in many Texans' opinions (including mine) representing peace over war (but I think it might've been to represent bravery, loyalty, and purity, or maybe it was to match the U.S.'s color scheme, for it wanted to become a state). However, the colors were not exactly the same as Chile's and still recognizable until the 1933 Flag Act which established blood red and azure blue, as well as the white star, making it close to Chile's.
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level 58
Jan 14, 2017
Hawai'i's flag looks like a mess, a shame considering it is meant to represent a beautiful state with a unique history. I have to say I personally think that the flags of Canadian provinces are better than most of these flags. Most Canadian provinces and territories at least do not include a coat of arms and the name of the province itself like most of the American ones do.
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level 61
Jun 20, 2016
I remember reading somewhere that Maryland flag is consisered the best flag in the world by vexillology associations.
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level 75
Jun 20, 2016
Virginia is so low because QM can't spot a sword and is a little homophobic I think.
+2
level ∞
Jun 20, 2016
Mysterious gray object, kalbahamut.
+1
level 50
Jun 20, 2016
It's not drawn very well, but it's a sword. Specifically a "parazonium". Check Wikipedia for that.
+1
level 67
Aug 13, 2018
Touch
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level 67
Aug 13, 2018
I mean touche.
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level 58
Jun 20, 2016
Do flags like Texas, which is pretty appealing visually, really deserve to be so low while Georgia blatantly uses the old Confederate flag ("The Stars and Bars," not General Lee's battle flag of which many, many people are familiar with). Also, I laughed when I saw that each star on Alaska's flag represents one of its eight citizens.
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level ∞
Jun 20, 2016
I didn't know that about Georgia's flag. With the new information, I lowered their rank from #30 to #49. Sorry, Georgia.
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level 63
Jun 20, 2016
One question, do you not like the Confederacy? It seems like you're very biased to flags containing something visual that contains the Confederacy flag and it's battle flag (or in short Mississippi and Georgia). If you want to know what every flag means you could watch this video
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level ∞
Jun 20, 2016
Georgia is a great place. Certainly, there are many things they could put on their flag. To choose a symbol of their state's rebellion against the U.S. (a rebellion whose aims were in large part to preserve the institution of slavery) seems terrible. The flag has a certain visual appeal. I don't like what it stands for. Georgia can do better.
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level 75
Jun 20, 2016
Every year my family would drive to Florida. When it started to smell like a toilet we knew we were in Georgia.
+2
level 52
May 9, 2017
Oh, kalbahamut, you must have misunderstood. We're insulting the flag of Georgia, not Georgia itself. Now quit being a jerk to the South.
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level 67
Aug 15, 2018
With all the modern re-re-re-re-re-re-reinventing of the Confederate flag, sorry, but it's still a very cool looking flag. General Lee in his tailored gray cavalry uniform with the Confederate flag just looks better in a painting against the Union blues and the Stars and Stripes. Maybe they were like the Third Reich years later: despotic fashionistas.
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level 65
Jun 20, 2016
I agree, Texas and Georgia have great flags. All the "seal on a bedsheet" flags deserve to be sent to the dustheap of history and replaced with simple and elegant designs. Roman Mars has a great Ted talk on this subject: https://www.ted.com/talks/roman_mars_why_city_flags_may_be_the_worst_designed_thing_you_ve_never_noticed
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level 77
Jun 23, 2016
That Ted talk was exactly what came to mind when looking through these. South Dakota over Colorado? And this is coming from a native South Dakotan; that flag stinks!
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level 65
Jun 24, 2016
Er, not Georgia, I meant Alabama. Georgia's flag is terrible, full of seals and words and symbols of racism. I live in Washington, our flag is terrible too.
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level 67
Aug 13, 2018
Alabama and Florida's flags are from the old Spanish flag, a red X on white.
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level 27
Jun 27, 2016
I am from Alaska, and now live in New Mexico...apparently I like states with awesome flags.
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level 82
Jul 4, 2016
We moved to Arizona a few years ago and like the state's flag. However, until we read your interpretation, we didn't realize the deep significance of the design. Thank you, comrade, for setting us on the correct road.
+1
level 25
Jul 26, 2016
I have enough trouble drawing the Union Jack when I have to. Ukraine have it easy. But some of these states....
+3
level 48
Jan 13, 2017
I think they're cheese doodles.
+1
level 39
May 19, 2017
Happy to see my home state at #14.
+1
level 38
Jun 2, 2017
ikr
+1
level 38
Jun 2, 2017
How does the Maryland flag appeal to you? To me it looks like someone was forcing a child to draw something impossible.
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level 75
Sep 16, 2017
I don't understand how you can complain about the Union Jack on Hawaii's flag while lauding Maryland's flag. It's a beautiful flag, but IMO putting an English nobleman's symbols of heraldry on a state flag isn't cool either. You can't get much more English than the family crests of Lord Baltimore's Calvert and Crossland families, coats of arms which were granted to them by an English king.
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level 58
Apr 19, 2018
The problem is that the Union Jack is a globally accepted symbol of a British territory. It's confusing for people seeing the flag for the first time. No one is confused about the Maryland flag.
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level 33
Nov 16, 2017
Opinion based blog, and yeah. :P
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level 33
Nov 16, 2017
hey make a list of the states themselves ranked in order, ex 1. blah because blah blah blah etc
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level 58
Apr 19, 2018
After looking through the comments, it seems that only me and one other person are the only ones who have a distaste for Maryland's flag. I find this surprising because I hate pretty much everything about it. 1, Checkerboard patterns don't look good on a flag. 2, why are the checkerboards slanted? 3, the red and white things look like they belong on a playing card. 4, there is no border in between the four quadrants, creating an unpleasant transition when scanning from one quadrant to another. 5, don't use black and yellow together unless you're making Batman's flag. I understand that a lot of people find this flag beautiful, and it did, of course, make the #3 spot. It's just my opinion. Also, sad to see Rhode Island down towards the end. It's a great design, just needs a left border and better contrasting colors. There's nothing wrong with a square flag as far as I'm concerned.
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level 67
Aug 13, 2018
Rhode Island's flag looks like a homemade pennant hanging beside the broken screen door on a junky roadside knick knack tourist shop. The type where 2 people can't pass each other in between the weathered wood tables full of thoroughly unorganized crap that you dig down through and find more completely unrelated crap, unfolded clothes, broken pieces of all variety and someone's open bag of chips they didn't pay for. Welcome to Route 47 Pik 'N' Pak.
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level 67
Aug 13, 2018
This is a flashback. This is the very first link I followed to JetPunk.
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level 41
Oct 2, 2018
So you're not gonna look at what the Texas flag represents, what it means, or anything important, but you're literally going to judge by if it's copying another flag, AND YOU PUT IT AT 41?? If you're gonna do it that way, then you should put ALL the states with a blue background and an emblem WAYY down on the list...