Over 300 Flags for American Cities and Towns Adopted Since 2015 rated by Public and Experts

BOSTON, MA, January 06, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — A survey conducted by the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA), an organization with over 1,000 flag enthusiasts and scholars, asked respondents to rate the designs of each of these flags. Vexillology is the study of flags.

The survey was conducted online from September 1 to November 30, 2022. Over 2,800 people participated in the survey by rating the design of each flag using a low-to-high scale of 0 to 10. NAVA asked its members and the public to rate the designs of 312 known flags (there are likely many more).

There was high interest in the survey by the general public—83% of survey respondents were not members of NAVA. The numerical ratings for each flag were averaged and converted to letter grades ranging from F (lowest) to A+ (highest).

Some of the survey’s findings include:
• Over 30% got an A or a B.
• Over 60% of the flags got a D or an F.
• The overall average rating and grade for the 312 flags included in the survey were 3.65 and D+.
• The ratings by the public closely matched those of NAVA members.

A well-designed city flag can foster civic pride and community cohesion. It can support the city’s branding and promotion. And a simpler flag usually costs the city and its residents less, leading to its broader use.

As cities and towns continue to adopt new or redesigned flags, NAVA hopes that the survey results provide community leaders, designers, and others with valuable information about recent successful and appealing designs that are rated highly by the public and widely used.

For images of all the flags and the survey’s full results visit https://nava.org/2022-survey.

For interviews contact media@nava.org.

“It is wonderful to see the growing interest in flags across American cities”, says NAVA President Stan Contrades. “The flag-studies community represented by NAVA is eager to provide cities considering new flags with resources that can help guide them as they choose new symbols.”

Nationally, the highest-scoring flags generally embody the five basic principles listed in NAVA’s flag design guide, “Good” Flag, “Bad” Flag.

1. Keep It Simple (The flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory)
2. Use Meaningful Symbolism (The flag’s images, colors, or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes for the community)
3. Use 2 to 3 Basic Colors (Limit the number of colors on the flag to three, which contrast well and come from the standard color set)
4. No Lettering or Seals (Never use writing of any kind or an organization’s seal)
5. Be Distinctive or Be Related (Avoid duplicating other flags, but use similarities to show connections)

The “Good” Flag, “Bad” Flag guide is available to download free from the NAVA website at https://nava.org/good-flag-bad-flag. It can provide guidance to any city, county, state, tribe, organization, company, family, neighborhood, or even country, for designing a successful and meaningful flag.

This is the second survey conducted by NAVA of American city flags. The first survey, conducted in 2004, asked members of NAVA and the public their opinions on 150 flag designs (including flags for the 100 largest cities in the U.S. and every state capital, with flags for at least two cities included for each state). The flags of Washington, D.C., and Chicago, Illinois, topped the survey while the flag for Pocatello, Idaho, ranked last (it has since been changed and got an A in the new survey). The results of NAVA’s 2004 survey were widely covered in the media and examples and can be seen here: https://nava.org/flag-surveys.

NAVA: North American Vexillological Association
P.O. Box 55071 #58049 Boston, Massachusetts 02205-5071 USA www.nava.org

NAVA is the largest flag-studies organization in the world, with over 1,000 members. It publishes a quarterly newsletter, Vexillum, and an annual scholarly journal, Raven. It hosts a website and holds regular meetings of flag scholars and enthusiasts. It welcomes anyone interested in flags as a member.

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