This is the state flag of Louisiana:


It is not a good flag. Not the least of which because it does not even have the instantly recognizable symbol of Louisiana, the fleur de lis. Given that the fleur de lis represents French Louisiana and not the entirety of Louisiana, it’s forgivable that the flag is not just that, but stylistically that would be a nice looking flag. Better than the pelican, anyway. But it’s just the pelican. The state bird. Feeding its children. Heartwarming, I guess, but most states would kill for a symbol like the fleur de lis to put on their flag.

What’s really weird is that it’s not like Louisiana can’t do flags. New Orleans has a flag that’s okay. And Acadiana, a region of Louisiana, has a flag that is darn near perfect:


The kicker is that the Acadiana flag was designed before the state flag of Louisiana. Sort of. A variation of the pelican flag was in use since the Civil War, but they updated the design in 1912, 1991, 2006, and 2010. So it’s not like they just haven’t gotten around to doing anything about the mediocre flag. They have just stubbornly refused to actually change it into something worthwhile.

A good flag is one that you see everywhere. Maryland isn’t exactly a jingoistic state, but they do love their flag. Washington DC has the pride of the slighted, and use their flag liberally. Texas gave itself a nickname based on its flag. Alaska and New Mexico used their great flags liberally.

I have spent a fair amount of time in RL Louisiana, and I never see their flag anywhere. I see the Acadiana flag a lot more often. That’s an indication that their flag is better than the state flag! That is what a flag is supposed to be.

Category: Statehouse

About the Author

Will Truman (trumwill) is a southern transplant in the mountain east with an IT background who bides his time taking care of their daughter while his wife brings home the bacon. You will probably be relieved to know that he does not generally refer to himself in the third-person except when he's writing short bios on his web page.

9 Responses to Louisiana Vexillology

  1. Peter says:

    Many states put their official seals in the flag. That doesn’t work well, it tends to leave too much empty space surrounding a hard-to-see deign. Louisiana’s done the same, but at least the seal is large and not obscured as is so often the case.

    Tennessee is another excellent flag design.

  2. gregiank says:

    No bias here, but you have to admit Alaska clearly has the best state flag.

  3. Kazzy says:

    The Maryland flag is dope. When I lived there and/or visited my friends at UMD, I was always jealous of it. Jersey’s flag is nothing special.

    The choice of flag to fly is often rooted in the “area” one identifies with. Do Louisiana natives tend to think of themselves as Louisiananan? Or do they think of themselves as Acadianan? Or Cajun? Something else? Local vs state vs national pride tends to vary from place to place.

    • ScarletNumber says:

      Yeah, Jersey’s flag is pretty nondescript. The horse’s head does give it a Sopranos vibe, though.

      BTW I was in Bergen County today so I did a White Manna/Bischoff’s double header.

    • ScarletNumber says:

      I forgot to mention that Bischoff’s is selling copies of the board game Teaneckopoly for $15, if you are interested.

  4. Michael Drew says:

    It’s almost unbelievable that that’s actually the flag of a significant political entity.

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