The current flag of Illinois - just like the flag of North Dakota - has images that don't seem to be specific to this state, but rather speak to me as general North American symbolism - so that was no good to start from. I looked for inspiration at the municipal flags of Chicago - the largest city of the state - and Springfield - the state capital.
The pattern of the first design that I made is a kaleidoscopic shuffle of the Chicago star, and does not have a deeper meaning per se - it's just an attractive and recognizable pattern (but it is rather difficult to reproduce from memory.)
The second proposal displays the stars from the municipal flags of Springfield and Chicago, and between them the bald eagle, the bird that is also featured on the current flag, and that lives in the state.
My first proposal for a flag of Iowa, nicknamed "less is more", takes all letters and symbols off the current flag. The only drawback to this is that the result looks a lot like the French flag.
The second proposal, nicknamed "we have our own flag now", attempts to fix that. Dividing the flag in five equal bands of blue, white, red, white and blue makes it look less like a copy of the French flag, while still being related.
Like many others before me, I found that the only reusable element from the current flag of Kansas is the sunflower. In my first design I used the sunflower as it appears on the current flag. The second has a sunflower with 21 petals - a possible number for a sunflower. The third has 32 petals, also a number that is possible, while Kansas coincidentally is the 32nd state.
The flag of Michigan was one of the first I made, and one of the easiest. The shield on the current flag holds a picture of a landscape, that lets itself gracefully translate into a flag - colors and all. Proposal 1 "scenery" shows the colours and some elements (land, water, air and sun) from the state shield, in an abstract manner.
The current flag of Minnesota is like a carnival: there are several scenes depicted, beautiful flowers and lots of stars. All in all it doesn't tell me much about Minnesota, so I chose to copy that in my new flag: it had to use (some of) the same colors as the existing flag, be just as meaningless, but all the more recognizable. I took the "SoB" arrangement as a starting point, putting a circle in the center of the flag, and from there found a composition that ticked all these boxes.
The current flag of Missouri - a lookalike of the Dutch flag - was not much of a help. It displays a whole array of overused symbols: stars, a moon, red, white and blue. So I looked for some other symbol that could represent the state, and I found the St. Louis Arch - an upside down catenary. The first phases of the design were done on the basis of a picture of the arch, but for the final version I wrote a java program that can calculate the exact position of the points along the catenary. All colors used were found on the current flag. The colors are brown for
the woods, green for the fields and light blue for the river.
The thing that struck me about the current flag of Nebraska was the color palette. I arranged the three colors into five bands, roughly corresponding with the order of colors on the seal, to make a new flag.
The current flag of North Dakota - just like the flag of Illinois - has images that don't seem to be specific to this state, but rather speak to me as general North American symbolism - so that was no good to start from. The standard of the Governor of North Dakota, however, has a very specific set of colors and symbols, that can be shaped into a flag. Some of the most obvious ideas that I had for that had already been executed by others, but I found another way, making the flag design bold and clear.
The second and third proposals are a simplification of the first, removing the complex shapes of fleur-de-lis and stars, but retaining the over all pattern of the flag.
Although the current flag of Texas has certain undeniable beauty in its simplicity, it is easily confused with the flag of North Dakota. This design seeks to make the flag more easily distinguishable. It's easy to remember which of the two states has this design: Texas has a border.