Since Roman Mars' famous TED talk in 2015 which opened the world's eyes to bad flag design, many cities across the US have redesigned their city flag. In late 2022, the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA) (of which we are a member) decided to rank the best new city flags in the US!
Out of 312 known flags 308 NAVA members and 2,544 public voters ranked the new flags using a 0-10 scale. Those scores were averaged and assigned a grade.
Here are the best new city flags since 2015:
4. Norman, Oklahoma
6. West Plains, Missouri
7. Wheeling, West Virginia
This is my biggest disappointment in the top 10. These compasses are clearly a clipart or stock image. It feels uninspired and (again, in my humble opinion) should be further down the list. Sure, it doesn't break any rules and is a fine flag, but it shouldn't be in the top 10 when you have Madison and Topeka down in the bottom of the A group.
I'm so glad Lincoln got into the top 10. We've been on the new Lincoln, Nebraska Flag beat since the contest and loved what came out of it. Sure, could the lines be a bit thicker? Yeah. But in the modern usage of flags, its seen far more in digital applications than IRL. It's been well adopted by Lincoln-ites and stands strong in this list.
9. Kingman, Kansas
My first reaction was "WHERE?" This flag has no business being this good. It's definitely brings to mind Caribbean or African nation flag families, but that isn't to say it's a detractor from it's merits. Not every flag of the US has to include red white and blue and I love that this flag made the list. It pops from the rest and shows that diversity in color can really make a statement.
This flag is one of the most interesting stories of this list. As well designed as it is (and it's a beaut), it had some pushback from locals claiming it was...wait for it...demonic. Par for the course in the bible belt I guess. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful modern design that has very smart symbolism and shows how much you can do with so little; the hallmark of flag design.
Flags 11 - 25 (Best of the rest)
The rest of the group includes some real bangers! Riverside, California is one of my new favorite flags and we're definitely going to be putting some up on FlagsForGood.com very soon. Madison, Wisconsin and Topeka, Kansas are vastly underrated here. Madison has all the beautiful symbolism, geography nods, and looks damn good on a flag pole.
I agree with the top 25 of this list, just not the order per-se. But I think we can all agree, Sunnyvale Texas should definitely be on the bottom...
Coming soon to FlagsForGood.com:
Sioux Falls, South Dakota