State and Provincial Flag Colors: A Map Series

After my last post, I decided to do a bit more cartography on flag colors. This time, though, I've decided to include Canada, and I'm taking a new tack: showing every color in the flags, rather than the dominant color. To do that, I've made a separate map for each shade, highlighting all the states, provinces and territories whose flags that have any of that color. For this map series I've done blue, red, yellow and white. Let's take a look!

Unsurprisingly, blue is very popular in flags of both the U.S. and Canada. The only states and provinces without it? - Alabama, New Mexico, California, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island. (Remember to click on any of the images to see a larger version.)

Red is a bit less common, and Alaska and Quebec stick out as big patches of white. A quite noticeable regional grouping is in the U.S. midwest: South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma form a large band of redlessness.

White is more popular than red and only a bit less popular than blue, especially because I included state seals and provincial coats of arms when I was counting colors. This map is really better at showing the states without white in their flags: That's what's colored gray. As for Canada, there are no provinces or territories without white in their flags.

Lastly we have yellow, rarely dominant on a flag, (as we saw here), but nevertheless relatively common in American and Canadian flags. Quebec is the only province without it, with its simple blue and white flag, and then there is an interesting yellowless block in the U.S. south, stretching from Kansas to Alabama and from Texas to Tennessee, with the exception of Louisiana. It's pretty commonly found in state seals.

I hope you found these maps at least somewhat interesting. To me, flags are very important political and cultural symbols that should be valued and designed with a lot of thought. Patterns of color usage are hard to pick out here, mainly because seals and coats of arms with many colors are used so commonly in both Canada and the U.S. Perhaps if the states and provinces worked on making their flags less complicated, we'll have more differences to look at in the future.

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