Here are modest tips than can help you create your own flag or vote correctly in a good flag. They're not rigid rules: one of the rules can be ignored if it doesn't reflect in final result.

Keep it simpleEdit

Flags are made to be reproduced, so the design needs to be easily drawn and sewn. Use the minimum number of colors and elements. It includes not using seals and text, which necessitates double-faced flags.

Some good reasons to keep the simplicity:

  1. Much lower costs: less cloth and labor needed;
  2. Is more easily remembered;
  3. Simpler flags can be reproduced in smaller sizes without sacrificing detail or accuracy.

Alabama's flag doesn't require any special skills to make, while South Dakota's has a very complicated seal and a lot of writing. If not double-faced, the reverse reads “ATOʞAⱭ HTUOƧ”.

So, the second rule is:

Don’t reinvent the wheelEdit

Simply don’t try to use tridimensional flags, nor flags with holograms, degrade, photography, watermark, exotic shapes, difference between the front and reverse, etc.

Quebec's flag uses simple colors and shapes, while the shape of Ohio's flag shape only makes it more difficult of being reproduced.

Use contrasting colorsEdit

Seeing from distance, some colors can’t be differentiated. It’s possible to separate the colors in two groups:

  • Light colors: white, yellow, buff, light blue, light gray, etc.
  • Dark colors: black, red, green, dark blue, purple, brown, etc.

The idea is to overlap a color from a group with a color of other group. For example, the red stars of the DC flag contrast well with white background, while the black horses of Pennsylvania are almost invisible in dark blue, especially from a distance.

Use meaningful symbolismEdit

Maryland's flag has a very coherent design that honors its history and makes it unique. On other hand, Illinois' flag uses symbols that could be used by every other American state: an eagle, an American shield, the sun, etc.

Be related, not identicalEdit

A flag is a good place to show connections and relationships, but making that emphasis shouldn’t be permitted to cause confusion. Texas' flag shows its relationship with the American flag but, unlike the historical flag of Vermont pictured below, wouldn’t cause confusion with American flag itself.

Make it great in the windEdit

If you follow the previous rules, you'll probably have a good flag, but some extra cautions about colors: light blue can be nearly invisible on sunny days, and the same is true of green flags on groves and yellow and orange flags in deserts. Also, balance is importance: the details should be right on center or on upper left (where it flies well even in low wind).


What's the most important rule?

The poll was created at 01:24 on January 11, 2013, and so far 297 people voted.

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