The Sunflower State

The Original

The elements to the flag include

  • Blue field

  • Sunflower (state flower)

  • Twisted blue and gold bar

  • State seal

  • Rising sun

  • River 

  • Steamboat

  • Cabin

  • Settler using horses to plow

  • Indians chasing buffalo

  • Wagon train

  • 34 stars

  • “Ad astra per aspera” (state motto meaning “To the stars through difficulties”)

  • Kansas

The flag of Kansas was adapted May 10, 1965.

In the 2001 North American Vexillology Association survey of the 72 American and Canadian flags the Kansas flag was ranked 69th. That’s 3rd worst. If we go through Ted Kaye’s elements for good flag design we can see why is it a badly designed flag.

Keep it simple: The Kansas seal is a comlicated seal. It has many parts, shapes, and colors to it.  The sunflower above and the bar it sits on is detailed as well. This flag has a simple field, but is complicated otherwise.

Use meaningful symbolism: The sunflower is the state flower. The gold and blue bar symbolizes the Louisiana purchase. In the seal, the 34 stars represents Kansas as the 34th state. The rising sun is symbolic of the east. The steamboat on the river is commerce. The wagon train shows American expansion. The settler plowing the field with his horse as well as his cabin is symbolic of agriculture. 

Use two or three basic colors: In this flag we see twenty colors being used. Most of the seal is colored with gradients.

No lettering or seals: Not only does the flag of Kansas have the state seal, it says “Kansas”

Be distinctive or be related: This is another “seal on a bed sheet”. Meaning that the state put thier seal on a flag. Over half the states are named so by the North American Vexillology Association. 

The Redesign

Keep it simple: I took elements of the original flag and simplified it. There is a sunflower with 34 petals on a blue field surrounded by gold bars.

Use meaningful symbolism: In this redesign, I took the sunflower, which represents Kansas and gave in 34 petals, to symbolize being the 34th state. The gold bars on either side represent Kansas being the state in the middle of the country.

Use two or three basic colors: In this flag we see four colors being used.

No lettering or seals: I have taken out the seal and lettering.

Be distinctive or be related: This flag is distinct.