The Bluegrass State

The Original

The elements to the flag include

  • Navy field
  • Seal of Commonwealth
  • Pioneer and Statesman embracing
  • “United we stand, divided we fall” (State motto)
  • “Commonwealth of Kentucky”
  • Goldenrod laurel (State flower)

The Kentucky flag was originally designed in 1918 as the flag of  the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In 1963 it was adapted as the state flag.

As far as design goes, it’s a pretty bad flag. In fact in 2001, the North American Vexillology Association did a survery of the 72 flags of American and Canada and ranked this flag 66th. As we walk throught Ted Kaye’s principles of good flag design we see the many flaws it has. 

Keep it simple: The men on this flag are rather detailed, as well as the goldenrod laurel. From far away, the detail is lost.

Use meaningful symbolism: The two men used are thought to be Daniel Boone and Henry Clay. These are the two most respected men of thier respected occupations. The state of Kentucky, however, has come out and said that this is representative of every statesman or fronteirsman. The flag also draws symbolism from their state flower and motto.

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

No lettering or seals: As the flag uses both a seal and lettering, it is obvious this rule isn’t followed. The text on the top of the seal is very stylized and also hard to read. If this flag were hanging far away, it would be almost impossible to read.

Be distinctive or be related: This flag is another of the 27 flags that uses blue for thier background. 

The Redesign

Keep it simple: This redesign is a simple bends design. A bends design is a flag split diaganally. 

Use meaningful symbolism: This flag is my interpretation of the state motto “United we stand, divided we fall”. The yellow is sybolistic of the goldenrod, the green for bluegrass and the navy of unity.

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

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

Be distinctive or be related: This flag is distinct.