The current flag of Alaska is blue - very blue. I thought it needed some additional shape or symbol on it, and a polar bear seemed the obvious choice. My first plan - a walking bear - had already been realized by Stephen Richard Barlow, and more recently by RottenAli, so I looked for a photograph of a polar bear's face instead and digitized its features, resulting in my proposal.
The current flag of Colorado doesn't please me at all: I do not find the big "C" on this flag attractive. Therefore I looked for other sources of inspiration, and found the Köppen climate map of Colorado, which inspired me to make this design.
The current flag of Hawaii is an oddity. It features a Union Jack, when that was never required in the first place. The red and blue colors are a tribute to British superiority, and the Hawaiian yellow, that can still be seen on the Seal of the State of Hawaii, has lost its rightful place.
One of the things that struck me about the current flag is that it has eight bands, in spite of the fact that it repeats three colors (red, white and blue), when eight is not a multiple of three. This indicated to me that eight bands is a must.
The only element on the current flag of Idaho that I found useful for a new one was the elk on the seal. So, I used a photograph of an elk to create the contours of an elk's head. The colors that I chose - which are taken from the current flag - were explicitly meant to be different than the colors of most other flags.
For the second design I reused Ken Morton's beautiful elk drawing.
This flag of New Mexico doesn't really need an update urgently, as it is both beautiful and unique. If there was one thing that I could change, it would be increasing the size of the center symbol, to enhance visibility from a distance.