Monday, March 28, 2011

March Madness: The National Championship Match

It's been a month of flaggy heartbreak as the field of 56 flags of U.S. States and Territories has gradually been winnowed down to two. And today, they go head to head.

Our contestants for the national title are 1) New Mexico, which took out Ohio easily in the semi-final matchup, 20-5.  2) Maryland, which survived a tough fight against Tennessee to come out on top, 14-11.

They're bright!  They're vivid!  And they're going to the mat.  Votes will be counted at 6 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, March 30.

New Mexico


Place your votes in the comments!


  1. i'll give it to NM, for simplicity.

  2. Tough call, but I'll give the nod to NM. Kudos to them for having the courage to accept such a timeless but contemporary design.

  3. NM

    I honestly don't understand how anyone likes MD. Ick, ick, ick.

  4. Would that the criteria were more clear.

    For obvious simplicity, color distinctions, ease of reproduction, it's NM hands down.

    Big however, for heraldic impact, historicity, boldness and just plain pizzazz, MD has had my vote for a long time.

    Guess that puts MD a bit over NM for me.

  5. For me the choice is easy: New Mexico.

    I wrote a couple paragraphs about the choice, but was lost to a blogger error. The gist was this: Both flags symbolize their states, but to understand Maryland's one needs to know the flag is the heraldic banner of George Calvert, and why he was important for Maryland. New Mexico's flag, on the other hand, is much more obviously about New Mexico. The sun shining in a blazingly bright sky is exactly what being in New Mexico feels like! Plus, the Zia Native American emblem, which is nice to see on a US flag in the first place, evokes one of the most well-known things about New Mexico--the importance and fame of its Native Americans, especially their art.

    Also, although I like Maryland's flag, New Mexico's has something very rare in flags--an elegant and aesthetically pleasing simplicity yet a distinctive, easy to identify design. Maryland's flag is distinctive and easy to identify *because* it is crazy.

    Some have said NM's emblem is too small, but it seems just right to me. I might agree if the Spanish yellow field wasn't so bold.

  6. Maryland.

    I have complained that the red sun design seems to be about 80% of what it should be to balance the Mustard yellow background. It seems funny that of the last two flags standing, they both contain a lot of yellow, mixed with red and black. The official specs call for the red sun to be 1/3 the length. I think it should be 1/2 the length.

    I cannot think of two other US state flags that have that much yellow? or black. (Only Delaware has as much yellow, but its in a seal)

    This seems to be a very divisive choice: the simple and modern (yet old) New Mexico vs. the traditional and old (but oddly very hip in its busyness) Maryland.

    My favorite flags in the US are Hawaii and Maryland, and those are the most visually "dazzling" with their stripes and patterns.

  7. New Mexico.


  8. Sorry I'm a bit late (computer problems last few days), hope I'm early enough to cast one more vote for New Mexico ...