Scholars Graded 9 Wisconsin Flags. 7 Received Fs.

By Christina Lorey
January 12, 2023

“F” isn’t just for flag but for “failing” in these Wisconsin cities.

That’s at least according to the results of a new survey by the North American Vexillology Association (NAVA), an organization of flag enthusiasts and scholars.

In 2022, the group asked its members to score 312 flags that US cities have adopted or redesigned since 2015. 2,850 people participated, rating each flag on a scale of 0 to 10 (with 10 being the best.) The ratings were averaged and then converted to letter grades, from F to A+.

How Did Wisconsin Cities Do?

Not well. Seven of the nine Wisconsin flags rated received Fs:

  • De Pere
  • Franklin
  • Janesville
  • Kenosha
  • River Falls
  • South Milwaukee
  • West Allis

And they’re not alone! Nearly half of all flags (143 in total) received Fs, and the average grade wasn’t much better: a D+.

At least Wisconsin had two bright spots: Madison, with an A, and Hayward, with a C. Only 46 flags (15% overall) received As, while 50 (16%) earned Bs, and 24 (8%) earned Cs.

What Makes a Good Flag?

According to the guide on NAVA’s website, the best flags have five qualities:

  • Simple
  • Symbolic
  • No more than 3 colors
  • No lettering or seals
  • Distinctive

The flags from De Pere, Franklin, Janesville, Kenosha, River Falls, South Milwaukee, and West Allis all have lettering or seals, and De Pere’s also uses at least seven different colors.

Both Madison and Hayward’s flags are simple and stick to a basic color scheme.

The City of Madison Flag which received an A

The Takeaway?

NAVA hopes the survey gives community leaders “valuable information” about their designs and what could make them more appealing. Click here for the full results.

The image that appears on De Peres flag which received an F


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.

CATEGORIES: Uncategorized


Local News

Related Stories
Share This