The Cornhusker State

The Original

The elements to the flag include

  • Blue field 

  • State seal

  • Steamboat on river

  • Smith with hammer and anvil

  • Cabin

  • Wheat

  • Corn

  • Train

  • Mountains

  • “Equality Before the Law”

  • “Great Seal of the State of Nebraska”

  • “March 1st 1867”

The flag of Nebraska was adapted July 16, 1963. It was the last state to have an official flag.

In the 2001 North American Vexillology Association survey of the 72 American and Canadian flags the Nebraska flag was ranked the second worst flag. Georgia, the worst, has since redesigned their flag, leaving Nebraska to be the worst flag.

I both agree and disagree with this. The seal is very convoluted and it is hard to distinguish aspects of the flag even when I am able to zoom in and speculate. The picture isn’t clear. However, as far as flags with a seal on it, the overall look on the flag is not unpleseant to look at. The choice to make the seal  blue, yellow, and gray is different from other flags and makes it feel uniform. 

In 2002 there was a movement to change the flag, but no offical change has happened yet. State Senator Burke Harr commissioned a new team to design a flag in 2017 when he realized that the current flag had been hung upside down at the capital for 10 days unnoticed.

Keep it simple: The seal is almost impossible to make out all the details. In my research, there were multiple accounts for what the blobs in front of the cabin were. The design could be much cleaner to help the viewer understand each detail. There is simply too much going on inside and around the seal.

Use meaningful symbolism: The symbolism is show literally on this seal. The steamboat on the Mississippi river represents trade on the Mississippi. The smith with a hammer and anvil represents mechanical arts. Agriculture is represented by the cabin, corn, and wheat. The train heading to the mountains represents the pride Nebraska has in the railroad running to the Rocky Mountains. 

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

No lettering or seals: This flag has the seal which includes lettering.

Be distinctive or be related: There really is not much that makes this flag distinct other than it is the only state flag to make their seal uniform colors and not multiple colors.

The Redesign

Keep it simple: The use of the white cheveron (triangle on the left) over the blue and gold bars simplifies this state’s flag.

Use meaningful symbolism: The blue bar on top symbolizes the Mississippi river and the benifits it gives the state in trade and natural resources. The gold bar is symbolic of agriculture especially of corn, a product the state leads in growing. The white cheveron is symbolic of the state motto, “equality before the law”.

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 lettering.

Be distinctive or be related: This is a distinct state flag.