Thursday, March 3, 2011

March Madness: North Regional, Round 1

Welcome to Day Three of the U.S. States and Territories Flag Tournament!!!

The Rules: Anyone can play.  For each of the pairs of flags pitted against each other, simply indicate your favorite.  Explication, derision, and/or analysis will not affect the scoring, but is nevertheless encouraged.  Each winner will of course advance to the second round.

In the first round only, you may select one of your six preferred flags as especially favored; for that flag only, your vote counts double.

North Regional Voting Deadline: 11:59 p.m., Sunday, March 6.
South Regional Voting Deadline: 11:59 p.m., Saturday, March 5.
East Regional Voting Deadline: 11:59 p.m., Friday, March 4.

Michigan vs. Kansas


Iowa vs. Wisconsin



Missouri vs. Illinois


Indiana vs. North Dakota


North Dakota

Nebraska vs. Minnesota



South Dakota vs. Montana

South Dakota


Make your votes in the comments, of course.


  1. MI - love those dancing deer
    IA - tricolor - almost revolutionary
    MO - Illinois white field is too much
    IN - ND's eagle looks ill
    NE - both seals are a little too busy, but NE is less so
    MT - their cartoon is in color

  2. KS - But they're both pretty bad
    IA - Just for not being another blue field with a seal
    MO - I don't know why...
    IN (x2) - A classic
    NE - Better color simplicity
    SD - I hate the nickname being no the flag, but at least the seal doesn't look like something I drew for my 5th grade state report.

  3. I had had a detailed assessment of each, but I wanted to examine Minnesota's flag more closely, and I lost what I had written. Basically, same votes as Cartophiliac. Interesting note- South Dakota is a combo-breaker. Out of all the flags, I've been consistently voting for the top flag of each pair, until the Mount Rushmore state came up.
    How can I vote for a flag that has the state name written on it- not once but twice?

  4. The North Regionals really seem to have a thing for slapping their names on their flags. This will have to be a "lesser of two evils" round.

    Michigan, deer are better than a clip-art sunflower.
    Iowa, kind of French, but the eagle saves it.
    Missouri, though I do admire the attempt by Illinois to copy the seal on the Mexican flag.
    Indiana, best one of this round.
    Minnesota, I flipped a coin.
    Montana, it has fewer words, even though it feels like it's shouting "MONTANA!" at you.

  5. Crap, I forgot. My bonus vote goes to Missouri.

  6. Most of these flags are absolutely terrible.

    IN (x2)

  7. Ah yes. Thanks for the reminder on the bonus vote: Indiana

  8. Michigan
    South Dakota

  9. Some cringeworthy flags here, as others have already pointed out. And several are so similar, or equally bad, might as well flip a coin.

    Michigan - But really, vs. Kansas? Elk and moose vs. bison and oxen? Tough call. Flip a coin? Both state seals involve a sunrise over a lake/river. Apparently Michigan's supporting elk and moose thing was derived from the Hudson's Bay Company's coat of arms—a bit of Britain in a US flag. Kansas's motto is probably more meaningful, given Kansas's rough road to statehood (assuming "to the stars" means statehood and not rocketships), but Michigan's motto makes me laugh—"Looking for a jolly good peninsula? Dude!" (paraphrased). Reminds me of the signs I used to see when crossing the MI border, "YES! Michigan!!"

    Iowa - Although that eagle is carrying quite a lengthy ribbon. WI's seal is waaay busy. A cornucopia of tiny pictures. Wikipedia says both Iowa and Missouri's flags are based in part on the French tricolor flag, but I'm not sure that the intention in either case.

    Missouri - Another coin flip choice. Illinois has a better seal, but MO's three stripes are better than IL's plain white field. Actually, the closer I look at the seals the less sure I am about IL's being better—although on the flag it works better, what with its copacetic asymmetrical design and fairly large size. Anyway, flagwise, seems a choice between better seal or better field...

    Indiana (x2) - No contest. Funny how Indiana felt the need to include the state's name on the flag, but made it so small as to be unreadable on an actual flying flag. Anyway, this is the only flag from this whole round that doesn't make me wince.

    Nebraska - NE vs. MN? Which busy seal on a blue field is better?Um... neither? Okay Nebraska—more attractive seal at least. Plus, I'm not sure I like how MN's seal suggests the manifest destiny imagery of savage Indians retreating as the plough of civilization advances. I'm not sure that was the intention, but that was my reaction—reminds me of that famous painting by John Gast, ''American Progress''.

    South Dakota - Slightly less awful than Montana's flag. Very slightly.

  10. KS - "Tuebor"??? WTF is a "Tuebor"???? (This is another one where I'm voting for the slightly better of two horrible choices, only to automatically vote for whichever flag faces the winner in Round 2.)
    IA - has a certain "je ne sais quoi" about it. ;)
    IL - Guess I've always been a sucker for white-based flags, white is one of my favourite colours, especially on a flag.
    IN (2x)- Distinctive. ND's looks more like a national flag, very little "ND" about it. (And I live just a 2 hour drive from ND, so I've seen it flying several times)
    MN - kind of like the lighter blue and the star configuration in the central wheel.
    MT - again, both horrible, horrible choices, but I cannot, under any circumstances bring myself to vote for SD's flag. When it was first introduced, it had its state motto "The Sunshine State" on it (SD gets a lot of sunshine), which is where the sun rays come in. Florida (the better known "Sunshine State") complained, and SD changed its motto - but the idiots forgot to remove the sun rays! (Either that, or they're deliberately daunting Florida by keeping them there. Either way, bad move.)

  11. I vote Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, a double-vote for Indiana, Nebraska, and Montana. As far as state-seal-on-blue-backgrounds go, I suppose North Dakota's is pretty nice, but a state seal doesn't stand a chance when it's going up against AN ACTUAL GODDAMN FLAG

  12. Michigan: Stags are distinctive ina clutter field of mediocre blue/seals. Kansas needs better type and better clipart.

    Iowa: Viv la differace!

    Illinois: Both are better than most, and Missouri s at least distinctive, but I like simplicity of the white flag.

    I pity this bracket when it actualy has to compete with flags that weren't designed by focus groups of politicians in 1840.

    Indiana: a bit like an insurance compnay logo, but better than slightly better than average ND.

    Neb/Minn: neither

    SD: get rid of everyting but yellow starburst. But still better than kindergartener Montana.