Ten Worst City Flags in the United States

Feb 9th, 2017

Cities generally adopt official flags to show pride and to serve as a symbol of the city. The majority of flags was designed to symbolize some particular aspect of the area that is important to the city.

 

In 2004, NAVA conducted The American City Flag Survey. The poll was intended to rate the flag designs of 150 U.S. cities. According to the survey, the following are the ten worst city flags:

 

141.     Montpelier, Vermont

 

Montpelier was chartered in 1781, and adopted an official city flag in 2001. Although the flag was rated the tenth worst in the 2004 NAVA survey, not much effort has been given to redesign the flag. In September 2016, the mayor issued a call for participants in a flag redesign group. The status of that request is unknown. Read more about the history of Montpelier’s city flag on our blog.

 

142.     Cedar Rapids, Iowa

 

 

 

Cedar Rapids was incorporated in 1849. A city flag has been in use since 1962, but it is unknown if it was ever officially adopted. The flag was rated the ninth worst in the 2004 NAVA survey. There is no indication that the city is interested in redesigning its flag. Read more about the history of Cedar Rapids’ city flag on our blog.

 

143.     Provo, Utah

 

 

Provo was incorporated in 1850, and adopted an official city flag in 1965. The flag was redesigned in 1985. That flag was rated the eighth worst in the 2004 NAVA survey. In 2015, Provo adopted a new city flag design. Read more about the history of Provo's city flag on our blog.

 

144.     Lubbock, Texas

 

 

Lubbock was incorporated in 1909, and adopted an official city flag in 1971. A redesigned flag has been in use since 2000, but it is not clear whether it was officially adopted. That flag was rated the seventh worst in the 2004 NAVA survey. It does not appear that any efforts have been made to redesign the city’s flag. Read more about the history of Lubbock's city flag on our blog.

 

145.     Hialeah, Florida

 

 

Hialeah was incorporated in 1925. The city used an unofficial flag or banner at events. That flag was rated as the sixth worst in the 2004 NAVA survey. The city officially adopted a redesigned flag in 2005. Read more about the history of Hialeah's city flag on our blog.

 

146.     Mesa, Arizona

 

 

Mesa was incorporated in 1883, and adopted an official city flag in 2005. NAVA rated that flag the fifth worst in the 2004 NAVA survey. The city officially adopted a redesigned flag in 2005. Read more about the history of Mesa's city flag on our blog.

 

147.     Milwaukee, Wisconsin

 

 

 

Milwaukee was chartered as a city in 1846. It did not adopt an official city flag until 1954. That flag was rated the fourth worst in the 2004 NAVA survey. There have been several attempts to redesign the city flag over the years, but those designs were rejected. In 2015, another flag contest was launched. That contest ended in June 2016, but the winning design has not yet been officially adopted by the city. Read more about the history of Milwaukee's city flag on our blog.

 

148.     Rapid City, South Dakota

 

 

 

Rapid City was incorporated in 1883. It is unknown whether the city ever adopted an official city flag. The city flag design received by NAVA was rated the third worst in the 2004 NAVA survey. After the survey, Rapid City Mayor Jim Shaw denied that the flag belonged to Rapid City. It does not appear that any efforts have been made to redesign the flag or to adopt a different official city flag. Read more about the history of Rapid City's city flag on our blog.

 

149.     Huntington, West Virginia

 

 

Huntington was incorporated in 1871. It is not clear whether the city ever adopted an official city flag. An unofficial city flag was rated the second worst in the 2004 NAVA survey. In 2004, after the survey results were released, the flag was redesigned, but the new flag is not likely to have fared much better in the survey. Read more about the history of Huntington's city flag on our blog.

 

150.     Pocatello, Idaho

 

 

 

Pocatello was founded in 1889. The city has not adopted an official city flag, but does display an unofficial flag. That flag was rated the worst in the 2004 NAVA survey. A city flag redesign contest was held in 2016, but the winning entry has not yet been adopted. Read more about the history of Pocatello's city flag on our blog.

 

The ten worst flags ignore the basic rules of good flag design. According to the North American Vexillological Association, NAVA, a good design should be simple, not have more than three basic colors, and not include words or symbols.

 

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