Brand New State Flags

By Staff

At a time when American flags are flying everywhere across the land, we proudly present our readers’ ideas for new flags to honor their home states. These are the winning entries in our “It’s a Grand New Flag” contest from the July/August 2001 issue. We’d like to thank everyone who entered our flag contest. We received more than 80 creative entries coast to coast, but have space to feature just a few.
–Jessica Coulter

MINNESOTAMarcel Stratton (Photo of a flag flying at Stratton’s home.)
Under the North Star, the curved stripes represent a waving flag, blue for the sky, white for the landscape in winter and green for the summer.

NEVADA John C. Karp, Jr.
The mountain honors “Nevada” which is Spanish for “snowcapped”. This Silver State’s official colors are silver for mineral wealth and blue for clear lakes and western skies.

UTAH Jim Hayes
White is for the Great Basin Desert, green for the alpine forests, and red for red rock country. The state bird is the seagull and the stripes represent the Beehive State; seven stripes honor the six native tribes of Utah’s land plus one for immigrant settlers.

NEW YORK Scott Lyon
The regal purple honors the Empire State. Mountains are for the Adriondacks and the general skyline for the urban areas (the mountains remain huge in contrast to represent that even the greatest acheivements of the people are dwarfed by the greatest feats of nature). The rising sun pictures the Statue of Liberty’s face and the 11 stars signify New York’s entrance into the union as the 11th state.

VERMONT(print only) Sarah Healy age 10
Freedom and unity, for Vermont and the United States.

VIRGINIA(print only) Jennifer Faison
The red triangle is for the state’s general shape, blue for the Tidewater coastal region, green for the plains of the Piedmont region, yellow for the farmlands of the Ridge and Valley areas.

CALIFORNIA(print only) Josh Roden age 15
California’s flower is the poppy, the sun is for great weather, bold lettering for pride and a star for courage.


Utne Reader’s flag design contest was a raving success and we are pleased to present the 7 winners. Newspapers and magazines across North America picked up on the contest and fantastic flag designs still continue to come into our offices. Our contest might be finished but don’t let that stop you from trying your own hand at designing a symbolic flag for your state, province, neighborhood or even your family. Share your flag ideas with your friends and neighbors, bring them to your representatives, send them into your local newspapers!

To see the other flags, pick up the November/December issue 108 of Utne Reader.

Here are a few helpful links for information about flag design, flag history and flag enthusiasts around the world.

North American Vexillological Association

World Flag Database

Flags of the World

Discuss flags in the Society forum in
Café Utne’s: cafe.utne.com

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