Wednesday, January 24, 2024

New Flag Design in Planning for Illinois

Back in August of 2023, the State of Illinois started the process to design a new flag for the state. From the announcement, I'm not sure if the process will take suggestions from the public directly.  Instead, there's going to be a relatively huge design committee, though.

Vexillologically speaking, the current state flag is not a good design. Problems include:

  • A complex image directly pulled from the State Seal, where details are lost in the cluster and not easy to draw;
  • As a result, the flag also has too many colors;
  • Unnecessary, distracting, redundant and poorly placed text "ILLINOIS".


The only thing that makes this flag distinct when comparing it to other state flags is the white background.  Other than that, from a glance, you wouldn't know if this was the flag for Michigan, North Dakota or Vermont.

One interesting fact is that Illinois created anniversary flags. I think the answer for a new flag design lies in the Centennial flag.

This flag isn't perfect, but it's much better and more distinctive. I think this would make a great basis for the new state flag.  Here's what I would consider to change in order to adopt this flag as the new state flag:

  • I don't think the star fields are necessary, as these represent other states and not Illinois itself; 

  • The design looks like a missile (or even something rude) in modern aesthetics.

I would remove the star fields and move the white star to the center.

This concept is historic, unique when compared other states, easily recognizable on its own, and simple enough for grade school children to draw from memory. It also falls in line with the regional motif established by the Chicago flag; while offering more strength of design by being even more succinct.

It should be noted that Wallace Rice designed both the Chicago flag and the Illinois Centennial flag.

No comments: