The best flags in America are simple. It’s important to remember that you’re probably not staring at a flag for very long. When your eyes meet a flag, it must catch your attention quickly. Many places have flags flying high with tons of history and unknown facts packed into their simple designs. We’ve compiled a list of the most interesting city and state flags in America.
New Mexico State Flag
The flag of New Mexico includes a red Native American sun symbol at its center, the symbol of the Zia people, a Native American tribe that settled in New Mexico. The sun is surrounded by four groups of four rays, which represent many things, such as the four stages of life, the four cardinal directions, and the four seasons. This is one of only four state flags that do not contain the color blue.
Alaska State Flag
The Alaska state flag is certainly one of the most interesting flags in America, but it’s also one of the most controversial. Designed by a 13-year-old seventh-grader named Benny Benson, this flag was chosen out of 700 submissions in a contest. It is the big dipper constellation made up of eight stars on a blue background, representing the Alaskan sky.
Houston City Flag
Houston’s flag is a bright white star against a blue background. At the center of the star, you find the city’s seal. A contest in 1915 determined the flag. Major W.A. Wheeldon submitted the winning design, but a, Mrs. J.W. Greenhill, drew it. In 2015, a 1915 prototype was restored and now hangs in the Julia Ideson Library in Downtown Houston.
Chicago City Flag
The designer of Chicago’s flag was a Harvard-educated author and a writer for the Chicago Tribune. Chicagoans wear their flag proudly. You can see it on stickers, hats, sweaters, etc.
The white represents the two sections of the city. The two blue bars represent water. The top bar represents Lake Michigan and the north branch of the Chicago River, and the bottom represents the south branch of the river and the great canal.
The famous red six-pointed stars are unique to Chicago. Wallace Rice, the flag’s designer, made them with six points because he believed that five-pointed stars represented a sovereign state; Chicago was just a city. With so much effort and thought put into a city flag, imagine the history behind the Illinois state flag!
Delaware State Flag
Another of the most interesting state flags in America is the flag of Delaware. First adopted in 1913, the flag of Delaware contains a coat of arms with a history that dates back to 1777. Below the diamond, the date December 7, 1787 appears, representing the date when Delaware became the first state to ratify the United States Constitution, basically becoming the first state in the union.
Take a moment to think about your city or state’s flag. Could you recreate it if someone asked? Do you know the meaning behind its design? If your flag wasn’t represented on the list today, take a moment to dive deeper into your understanding and share the information you learn with a friend. Believe us, it is not common knowledge.