The North Star Flag




CANADA adopted the maple leaf flag in 1965 (above right), replacing a colonial British pattern (above left) for the sake of national unity and identity. The new flag has become one of the most successful and recognizable flags in the world. The flag was conceived by George Stanley and refined by Sir John Ross Matheson, who also supported our proposal for a new Minnesota flag.
      View the CBC Archives on the Maple Leaf Flag Debate (1964-65)


GEORGIA adopted a new state flag in 2003, which was confirmed in a 2004 referendum (above, far right). It is based on the first Confederate National Flag, which also influenced earlier state flags (above, far left, 1920-56). An inflammatory Confederate "Battle Flag" version flew next, in defiance of desegregation (above, second from left, 1956-2001). A generic blue design replaced it, but failed to win adherents (above, third from left, 2001-2003).
      View a news story on the 2001 flag
      View a news story on the 2003 flag


MAINE has also discussed a simplified state flag to replace its complicated current flag (above left). The new version would be based on an older state flag, but with a white field instead of buff (above right).
      View a news story on the new flag proposal (2019)
      View websites promoting the proposed flag here & here

MASSACHUSETTS has long debated a new state flag, due to objections over its portrayal of an Indian beneath a sword.
      View a feature in the New York Times (2019).


MICHIGAN has also undergone discussions on a simplified state flag (2006 example, above right) to replace its complicated current flag (above left), and a bill to study the matter was filed in 2016.
      View a TV news story on the initiative (2016).
      View a story in the Detroit Free Press (2016).


MINNESOTA has discussed a simplified state flag since 1955, because its original flag was double-sided and complex (at left; the reverse was blue). In 1957 a lawmaker proposed a tricolor design (second from left), but the legislature instead streamlined the original state flag, using a blue field; the seal was slightly modified in 1983 (third from left). In 1989 legislative hearings were again held, and the "North Star Flag" was presented by two flag specialists (at right). Bills to study the matter have been filed several times since; details are found throughout this website.
      View our Home Page


MISSISSIPPI adopted a Confederate battle-flag pattern in 1894 (first from left), which was retired in 2020 after much controversy and various replacement proposals. The first failed to unseat it in a 2001 referendum (second from left). Efforts continued with the "Hospitality Flag," which was created in 2014 by graphic designer Laurin Stennis (third from left); it was used widely as an alternate flag – including in specialty license plates authorized in 2019. However, she declined to conform it with a 2020 law authorizing a new state flag bearing the motto: "In God We Trust." Instead, another design was selected after a statewide contest and referendum (above, at right), and awaits legislative enactment.
      View a CNN story on the 2001 referendum
      View a CNN story on Hospitality Flag license plates
      View the former website of the Hospitality (aka Stennis) Flag
      Learn about the 2020 initiative here, here, here, & here.


MONTANA legislators discussed changing the state flag several times in the 1970s. In 1974, a bill proposing a design by James Croft actually reached the Senate floor, but was defeated (above right). Its colors represented the "Big Sky State," with mountain peaks recalling the state's name (see the Missoulian, Jan. 23, 1974, p. 5; Billings Gazette, Feb. 9, 1974, p. 6; The Flag Bulletin, 13.1 [1974]). Others promoted a similar design in 1979, but instead the legislature simply added the state’s name to the existing flag in 1981 (above left).
      View The Flag Bulletin cover from 1974, and click on the image for a summary
      View a news story on the efforts (2019)
      View an FOTW post on proposals.

NEBRASKA legislators have discussed changing the state flag several times in recent years.
      View a news story on the debate (2017)

NEW HAMPSHIRE media has discussed changing the state flag in recent years. The legislature has not responded.
      View a news story on the discussion (2018)


OREGON media discussed a flag redesign in 2008-09, and a Portland newspaper sponsored an unofficial contest. The winning entry featured green, white, and blue stripes, with a golden beaver and star. A beaver is also featured on the reverse of the current flag, with the state seal and name on the obverse. However, the state legislature did not take up the matter.
      View a study of the effort (2008-09).


SOUTH DAKOTA legislators rejected a bill proposing a new state flag in the 2012 session. The first bill promoted a design created in 1989, which featured Native American art (above right). It was later amended to provide for a broader design contest, but was then quashed.
      View news stories on the 2012 effort here and here.
      View the Wikipedia article


UTAH media discussed adopting a new state flag in 2002, with the Salt Lake Tribune sponsoring an unofficial contest (winning entry at right) to replace the old design (left). The effort continues in the legislature amid other design proposals.
      View news stories on the initiative in 2019, and 2020.