The Top 10 Best City Flags

Published on
February 29, 2024 at 12:12:46 PM PST February 29, 2024 at 12:12:46 PM PSTth, February 29, 2024 at 12:12:46 PM PST

Flags play an important role in capturing a nation's identity, which is why every country has its own emblem. Just like the American flag, which inspires national pride, U.S. city flags help unite communities, promote individualism, and increase patriotism. 


While flags play a meaningful role, not all designs are created equal. In fact, the North American Vexillological Association created a "Good Flag, Bad Flag" handbook outlining how to create a great flag. 


There are five key principles of good flag design, they include: 

  1. Keep it Simple 
  2. Use Meaningful Symbolism 
  3. Use Two or Three Basic Colors 
  4. No Seals or Lettering 
  5. Be Relative or Distinctive 


According to Ted Kaye in a 2024 presentation, the goal of a flag should be to communicate your city’s identity while distinguishing it from others. The main purpose of a flag is to signal at a distance. It is important to consider all the different ways a flag is displayed—atop a flagpole, with other city flags, used as mini flags in parades and ceremonies, and more. When designing flags, Kaye advises creating your design within a 1” x 1.5” rectangle to represent what your flag will look like at a distance. 

The ten city flags in this article demonstrate mastery of the above principles, making them stand out compared to other cities in America. As you read, see if you can spot the five principles in each flag's design and see which one is your favorite.

The Top 10 Best City Flags 


Here is Carrot-Top's list of the top 10 city flags, listed in alphabetical order.


Chicago, Illinois 


The Chicago flag ranked 2nd in NAVA's 2004 American City Flag Survey, making it one of the top emblems on our list. The city's original flag was designed in 1915 by the poet Wallace Rice and contained two red stars on a white field with blue stripes at the top and bottom, with two additional stars added in 1933 and 1939, respectively. 


The white stripes represent the south, north, and west sides of the city, while the blue stands for the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. The first red star symbolized Fort Dearborn, the second was in memorial of the Great Chicago Fire, the third and fourth represented the two world’s fair that took place in Chicago. 


The simplicity and deep meaning behind this historic flag earned its place within our top 10 American city flags list. Purchase your own beautiful Chicago City flag from Carrot-Top! 


Denver, Colorado 


The Denver City flag is ranked 3rd in NAVA's 2004 American City Flag Survey due to its beauty and rich history. The geometric shapes and bright colors are eye-catching, symbolizing snow-peaked mountains and the state's bright blue sky and yellow sun. 


The original flag's design was created in 1926 by Margaret Overbeck, a North High School Student, and has stood the test of time. Along with its geographical meanings, the white zig-zagging line pays homage to the state's Native American roots, while the red mountains showcase the prominent red clay. 


While many city flags have undergone redesigns since their original creation, the simplicity and brightness of Denver's flag continue to touch hearts today. Purchase a breathtaking Denver City flag and show off your Mile High City pride! 


Durham, North Carolina 


The Durham City flag received an A- grade in NAVA's 2022 New American City Flags Survey. This unique emblem was designed by Al Nichols, a local artist, and can be displayed vertically or horizontally. There are seven white stars set within a blue field, which signify the city's story and spirit, standing for: 


  • Preserving its Rich Heritage 
  • Arts 
  • Sports and Recreation 
  • Commerce and Industry 
  • Human Relations 
  • Education 
  • Medicine 


Red and gold bars flank the edge, symbolizing action and progress and high quality in growth, while the white star coloration stands for high ideals. Due to its unique design and meaningful symbolism, the Durham City flag remains a favorite among those who appreciate good flag design. Check out the City of Durham flags, in stock and available for immediate shipping at 


Indianapolis, Indiana 


The City of Indianapolis flag ranked 8th in NAVA's 2004 American City Flag Survey. 


The simplistic design contains a blue field with a singular white star centered inside a red circle, with four white lines emerging toward the sides of the emblem. The white stripes stand for the city's Market and Meridian Streets, intersecting to create Monument Circle. The blue sections represent residential areas, while the central white star honors the Soldiers and Sailors Monument as well as the city's place as the state's capital. 


The pop of color in the center of the flag and the unique meaning behind its design help secure its place in our list of top 10 best city flags. Purchase your own high-quality Indianapolis City flag to show your Railroad City pride. 


Phoenix, Arizona 


The Phoenix city flag is ranked 4th in NAVA's 2004 American City Flag Survey. It has a more distinctive flag design than many other city and state flags, with a maroon background and a white phoenix in its center. 


The current flag is a redesign from the original emblem, which was adopted in 1921 and flew until 1990. In 1986, the city's government decided to rebrand the flag into a more unique design. The new flag had to feature a phoenix to signify the city's name. The winning design was created by a graphic design firm called Smit Ghormley Sanft and was adopted on February 14th, 1990. 


The phoenix is an important symbol to the city as it signifies being born from the ruins of past native American societies. Fly your own stunning Phoenix City flag from 


Portland, Oregon 


The Portland flag received a 7th place ranking in NAVA's 2004 American City Flag Survey. The City of Portland's flag design is eye-catching, with a green background that stands for the forests surrounding the area. A four-pointed white star radiates blue and yellow stripes, representing rivers, agriculture, and commerce, respectively. 


The flag's design was created by R. Douglas Lynch in 1969 and adopted in 1970. Originally, it contained the city's seal, but it was later removed to keep a more simplistic overall design. The colors within Portland's flag are unlike many other city flags, making it stand out from the crowd. 


Carrot-Top proudly offers high-quality, vibrant Portland City flags that are perfect for any flag display. 


St. Louis, Missouri 


The St. Louis flag was ranked 5th in NAVA's 2004 American City Flag Survey. Arguably one of the most impressive city flag designs, there is no lettering or seals; instead, a prominent fleur de lis is set against wavy heraldic bars on a red background. 


St. Louis has seen its fair share of drama surrounding its flag design. Its first official city flag was designed in 1916 by Edward Krondl and featured Saint Louis on a horse surrounded by the French fleur-de-lis and orange and white stripes. Many argued the flag shouldn't have a portrait and the colors were not right. Eventually, the city alderman rejected the design and held a contest of his own. P. Woerhle, who was later found to be Krondl in disguise, submitted the winning design to this contest. 


In 1957, the city called for a redesign and chose a flag created by Theodore Sizer, adopting it on February 3rd, 1964. Carrot-Top carries a full line of vibrant St. Louis flags that are in stock and on sale now. 


St. Petersburg, Florida 


The St. Petersburg flag ranked 23rd in NAVA's 2004 American City Flag Survey. Although it doesn't align with all of the good flag principles, its ability to stand out and capture the heart of the city earned it its high ranking. 


The background of the flag features five horizontal lines in different colors. Red and orange signify the sun, green stands for the land, and blue represents the water. At the forefront is a white pelican, which was on the city's original flag and is the city's official mascot. 


The St. Petersburg flag is considered one of the nation's most colorful flags, a perfect match for the sunny Sunshine State. Get your own St. Petersburg City flag at 


Washington, D.C. 


Washington, D.C.'s flag ranked number one in NAVA's 2004 American City Flag Survey. Washington D.C's flag originated after World War I when Charles Dunn submitted his design based on George Washington's coat of arms. 


The flag features three red stars and two red stripes on a white background and was fondly labeled the "Washington Arms" flag. The stars symbolize the commissioners who once ran the city, and the stripes are an homage to the American flag. 


Carrot-Top is proud to offer a full line of vibrant American-made Washington D.C. flags on sale now!


Wichita, Kansas 


The Wichita flag ranked 6th in NAVA's 2004 American City Flag Survey. Adopted in 1937, the design created by Cecil McAlister represents home, contentment, happiness, and freedom. A blue sun with the Native American Hogan in white stands near the center, while red and white rays flank its side. 


The flag is highly popular throughout the city, with residents continuing to fly it proudly. In fact, you can see the Wichita flag in over 20,000 Instagram posts and growing, along with the hashtag #ILoveWichita! 


Show your Wichita City pride with a beautiful Wichita City flag from 


Other Popular City Flags for Sale at Carrot-Top 


Carrot-Top is proud to offer a vast selection of city flags crafted from the highest quality materials and built to last the test of time. Some of our most popular include: 



Don't See Your City's Flag for Sale? Contact Our Flag Pro Team!  


Whether you're a large municipality or a small town, Carrot-Top is happy to help you promote local pride across your community! With our custom flag capabilities, we can print any logo or seal onto the highest quality flags, making a lasting impression. Fill out our Contact Us Form and a Flag Pro will reach out to you with more information. Beyond flags, our custom street banners will adorn your streets with a unique design to help celebrate your community.  


Carrot-Top is Here to Help You with Your Flag Buying Needs 


Whether you're looking to represent your city, state, or our great country, Carrot-Top has the high-quality flags you need to create an unforgettable display. Discover our large selection of American-made flags in stock and ready for immediate delivery!