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Flag Design 101: How to Make the Perfect Flag

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February 1, 2024 at 8:55:11 AM PST February 1, 2024 at 8:55:11 AM PSTst, February 1, 2024 at 8:55:11 AM PST

Custom flags hold a special place in the world of branding. They are powerful tools for conveying messages and values by offering a visually compelling way to highlight your brand. 


Whether it's for a corporate event, marketing campaign, or as a permanent fixture outside your business or organization, a custom flag allows you to connect with potential customers and build your brand identity.


Creating an eye-catching flag is more than sewing pieces of fabric together; it is a thoughtful process that involves bringing the essence of your business to life. From selecting the proper materials to choosing beautiful colors and symbols, we will discuss essential steps in creating a custom flag that makes a lasting impression. 


Carrot-Top Industries is proud to be the foremost supplier of high-quality custom flags. No matter the design, our expert flag makers can create a vivid, eye-catching flag you can feel proud flying. 


What are the Principles of Good Flag Design? 


When designing your own flag, it’s important to understand the difference between good and bad flag design. As the top resource for creating a custom flag, The North American Vexillological Association outlines the dos and don’ts of flag design.  


Examples of good flag design - The American Flag 


According to good flag design theory, there are five principles you should follow when creating a flag:  


  • Keep it simple 
  • Use meaningful symbolism 
  • Stick to two or three basic flag colors 
  • Avoid lettering or seals 
  • Be distinctive 


The first example of good flag design we will look at is the American flag. The U.S. flag encapsulates all five principles, which is why it is the most recognizable in the world. 


The stars and stripes are basic shapes, making an uncluttered design. Every aspect of the flag is meaningful, from the stars to the colors that symbolize the blood of service members who gave their lives for our freedom. 


Lastly, the U.S. flag contains no writing. Its simplistic but recognizable design sets a high standard of excellence in national flag design. 


Examples of good flag design - Texas 


The flag of Texas is one of the most distinctive state flags due to its simplicity and bold design. Featuring a red, white, and blue colorblock pattern and a singular white star to honor its Lone Star State nickname, the Texas flag is an excellent example of good flag design. 


Examples of good flag design - The City of Durham Flag 


Not all examples of good flag design are from state or national flags. The City of Durham flag stands out for its unique colors and design.  


The flag features two thin red and yellow rectangles alongside a large blue field. Inside the blue field are seven stars called a Pleiades, which appear in the Taurus constellation. Each star signifies an aspect of Durham’s spirit, including arts, the preservation of the city’s rich heritage, commerce and industry, sports and recreation, education, human relations, and medicine. In 2022, the city received an A-grade from the NAVA City Flag Survey for the design and construction of its flag. 


Cities nationwide can use the five principles of good flag design to create memorable custom flags, just like Durham. By sticking to good design principles and thoughtfully crafting a flag that represents its citizens, cities can have a flag they feel proud of. 


How to Make the Perfect Flag for Your City of Organization 


When creating a custom flag, follow this step-by-step tutorial to develop a meaningful and memorable design. 


Step one: Select your flag shape 


Your flag's shape determines the design and how it will look when flying on a flagpole. Most flags are either rectangular or square, but some cities and states use a triangular shape called a pennant or a hybrid shape called a guidon. Rectangular flags offer more space for your design, while a pennant or guidon flag may be more eye-catching. Often, sports teams will use pennant flags, while states, cities and businesses will use rectangular emblems.  


Carrot-Top proudly offers custom flag shapes to highlight your city, business, or organization. 


Learn more about the various flag shapes on our blog, “What are the Different Flag Shapes?,” so you can choose the one that’s right for you! 


Step two: Select your flag design 


Before ordering your custom flag, you should have a design in mind. Use color symbolism to choose two to three colors that represent your organization, and try to incorporate meaningful elements. 


You can play around with Canva’s free online flag maker or enlist the help of a professional graphic designer. Carrot-Top can also help you design your own DIY flag from scratch for $40. We offer a variety of flag-making resources, including our custom government flag and custom school flag guides. 


Step three: Upload your artwork to Carrot-Top 


Our Flag Pro Team recommends sending your highest-resolution art to ensure vivid, clear results. Vector format is required, and all uploads should be .ai or .eps files ideally.  

If you’re unable to upload your art, you must pay a $40 artwork fee, which includes reformatting your artwork to our production specification and creating a design from scratch. 


Step four: Coordinate with our Flag Pros on the final approval process 


Once you upload your artwork in the correct format, please allow four to five business days for our Flag Pros to return your initial proof. Our Flag Pro Team recommends being proactive and regularly checking your email to expedite the process. The sooner your artwork is approved, the sooner your flag moves into production. Check each proof carefully for spelling errors, color accuracy, and any other changes you may want to make. 


Custom flags are non-returnable, so it’s imperative that everything meets your standards before moving to production. Our in-house team will coordinate with you until you are fully satisfied with your proof. 


After you approve your custom flag’s design, please allow six to eight weeks for us to print, produce, and ship your product. Please read our FAQ Page for more information on our custom products. You can also fill out our Contact Us Form with any additional questions regarding our custom flags. 


Step five: Keep your custom flag looking great 


Customers who create an account on our website can easily reorder past custom flags. Although every flag we sell is crafted from the highest-quality materials, like all flags, custom designs deteriorate after months of sun and wind exposure. You can also check your flag’s label for a repeat design number for faster service. 


FAQ on Custom Flags 


Read this FAQ for answers to commonly asked questions about our custom flags.  


What is the best shape for a flag? 


Most countries and cities use rectangular flags since they are the easiest for layout design and fly easily in the breeze. However, consider a non-traditional flag shape if you want to stand out. Our advertising flags come in various shapes to capture attention and showcase your business or organization. 


What is the best material for a custom flag? 


The material you choose for your custom flag depends on a variety of variables. You want to choose a material that matches your American flag for a uniform look. We recommend nylon flags for areas with mild to moderate wind and polyester for extreme weather zones. For more information, check out our blog on “Which Flag Fabrics Best Meets Your Needs?” 


How are our custom flags made? 


Many of our custom flags are printed on our professional-grade flag printer, which allows us to capture virtually any color and the finest details. Once printed, each flag is sent to a professional seamstress, who uses a high-powered sewing machine to hem the flag and attach any headers or grommets. 


Order a Custom Flag from Carrot-Top 


Carrot-Top Industries is the premier distributor of high-quality custom flags and accessories. We proudly sell the largest selection of American-made flags crafted from durable materials and made to stand the test of time. Along with our vibrant custom flags, we offer a full line of customized products to promote your business or organization, making it easy to stand out. Our selection includes: 



Get the most out of your business with a custom flag and products from America’s most trusted name for flags and flag accessories, Carrot-Top Industries.