In November of this past year, the State of Mississippi voted overwhelmingly to adopt a new flag to represent their state, replacing one that prominently displayed the Confederate battle flag, which was retired last June. The new flag, which you can see in the header photo of this article, is absolutely spectacular from a design standpoint, featuring a prominent, stylized magnolia and the words “In God We Trust.”
The last time I did flag ratings on this blog, it was pretty fun and pretty popular. So why not go back go the well? State flags are a good way to extend that fun, because there are some truly great state flags... and some pretty dang awful ones too.
As far as I’m concerned, Mississippi’s new flag would easily be at the five star category, but there’s also some recency bias at play here, so I’ve decided to leave them out of the ratings. They get the header photo though, so in a sense they really do win. This is a politics-free zone, so these ratings are being done purely on their aesthetic merits.
Here are your Tottenham Hotspur player ratings for their 3-1 win at Sheffield United to the theme of United States State Flags.
Six Stars: New Mexico
The purpose of a flag is to represent its people, and few flags anywhere do a better job of that than New Mexico. There’s no blue in this flag. There isn’t even any white. Instead, it’s a bright yellow field with the Zia sun that perfectly captures the unique culture of the American southwest. This flag is simple enough that a child can draw it and an example of excellent, distinctive design. It’s great.
Davinson Sanchez (Community — n/a): What a match! Davinson didn’t put a foot wrong during his entire shift. Counter to his recent positionally-deficient performances, he was right where he needed to be the entire time. It was a standout performance for the Colombian in central defense.
5 stars: California
What a flag. Not only does this flag have a gigantic good-ass bear on it that looks equal parts friendly, lecherous, and stoned (all things that describe California to be fair), but it is also literally the historic flag of a breakaway republic that raised itself briefly in 1846. The flag got officially adopted by the state legislature in 1911. This flag doesn’t need to state “sic semper tyrannus” — it’s basically a warning to the federal government: fuck things up too badly and we’re yeeting ourselves out and becoming literally Bear Country.
Tanguy Ndombele (Community — 4.5): I’m running out of superlatives for this guy. Playing in a deeper midfield role, he was as influential from central midfield as he is in attacking midfield. And that goal! I’ll be thinking about that one for a long time.
Harry Kane (Community — 4.0): Six shots, four chances created, three take ons, three tackles, one goal. That’s the Harry Kane we want to see every week.
4.5 stars: Tennessee
Not enough people talk about Tennessee’s flag. They should, it’s really good. It was adopted in 1905, and it’s a remarkably fresh and contemporary design for something that was made 116 years ago. The design and placement of the stars, which do not conform to horizontal lines and form a triangle shape in negative space, is particularly interesting, as is the blue bar on the right, which was apparently just added to break up the crimson color when there’s no wind.
Pierre Hojbjerg (Community — 4.0): After a couple of matches where he didn’t quite seem up to his best, he put in another commanding performance alongside Tanguy. Was involved in setting up Spurs’ second goal.
4 stars: Ohio
Ohio clearly views things a little differently than most states. Sure, it’s a variant on the flag of the union, and nobody does that particular theme better than Texas, but it’s... not rectangular! There are funky angles! There’s a giant O on the left side (but notably not an O-H-I-O)! If you wanted something that screams “HEY WE’RE NOT A BORING MIDWESTERN STATE” then this flag certainly does the job. Until you set foot in Ohio and realize it really IS just a boring Midwestern state, alas. But with a cool flag.
Jose Mourinho (Community — 4.0): Spurs took the game right to Sheffield from the opening kick, and despite getting punched in the mouth with McGoldrick’s header Spurs didn’t try and protect a narrow lead but pushed to get the clincher. I like this version of Mourinhoball better than the other one.
Serge Aurier (Community — 4.0): We got Good Serge for this match, defending capably and with no major mistakes. Was in a good position to head home the opener. Good match.
Sergio Reguilon (Community — 4.0): Mourinho let Sergio off the leash for this match and our Golden Retriever responded in kind, bombing up and down the flank with abandon, especially in the first half.
Joe Rodon (Community — 4.0): You always want to temper your expectations with young players, especially central defenders. It’s hard to do that for Joe after that performance against Sheffield. He was extremely composed against a Sheffield offense that’s pretty bad but still Premier League level. Joerodon is my new favorite dinosaur.
Steven Bergwijn (Community — 3.5): Stevie’s performance in this match makes me wonder if his earlier struggles had more to do with injury/fitness than ability. Had one good shot blocked and worked his tail off in the defensive winger role. His role isn’t glamorous and I’m not sure it’s the best one for him, but he did well at it on Sunday.
3.5 stars: Oregon
I don’t know why I like this flag. I kind of love this flag. Yes, the typography is pretty blah, it’s antiquated, and it’s an extremely Oregon Trail-ass flag — that wagon is 50 miles from breaking an axle and the people dying of dysentery — but what sets it apart is that it’s a true double-sided flag. The words “State of Oregon” are on one side, and on the other is a FREAKIN’ BEAVER. You gotta respect that.
Hugo Lloris (Community — 3.5): Not much to do apart from the McGoldrick goal (which was unsaveable), but he commanded his area well. Shanked one goal kick that led to a half-chance for Sheffield.
Son Heung-Min (Community — 3.5): Got an assist for one goal and nearly had another one himself but plonked a shot off the post for the second straight match. Still, was much more involved than against Fulham. The goals will come.
3 stars: New Jersey
There are a bunch of mediocre state flags that rely on outdated, post-colonial-era symbology or coats of arms. This is one of them. I also kind of hate the color. What elevates New Jersey from the slush pile is the severed horse head and the rando woman on the left holding a stick with a stocking cap on it. That’s so Jersey.
Ben Davies (Community — 3.5): Overall... fine in a back three formation alongside Dier and Rodon, but got beat pretty badly by McGoldrick for the goal.
Eric Dier (Community — 3.5): Add Dier to the “got beat by McGoldrick” coalition, but it wasn’t really his man anyway. Positionally solid, had a couple of blocks, did what he had to but wasn’t particularly noteworthy.
2.5 stars: Arkansas/South Dakota (tie)
There are plenty of states with bad flags, but then there are the states that just seem to phone in their flags, as if they’re an afterthought. Hi, Arkansas and South Dakota. Not only did they not go beyond the Helvetica font family, they’re both just simplistic designs. Arkansas’ flag looks like they offloaded the job to the 17-year old intern that’s also the state comptroller’s nephew. South Dakota’s is the seal + a bunch of triangles. Both of them feel the need to list their state name on the flag in order to positively identify it. South Dakota’s flag literally says “South Dakota” on it twice, just in case you didn’t see it the first time.
There are no Tottenham players in this category.
2 stars: Wisconsin
The 2-star category is reserved for states that have clung to their outdated, poorly drawn coat-of-arms-on-a-blue-field flag and haven’t bothered to do more than a token freshening up of its design in decades. This is epitomized by the flag of Wisconsin, which has had the same basic design since 1913. In their infinite wisdom, the Wisconsin general assembly decided to make it more distinct from other blue-with-seal flags by adding “WISCONSIN” and “1848” in block type. But they’re right, the rest of the flags in this category are pretty much all the same. I’m not going to bother to link to all of them, just trust me.
Other 2-star flags: Kansas (why are there mountains on the seal, lol), Connecticut, Nebraska, Michigan, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Virginia
Nobody played this poorly.
1 star: Hawaii
For a state that is basically a series of tropical paradise islands, I can’t think of a single good reason why they would have a flag that prominently displays the Union Jack. You have a wealth of pre-colonial native Hawaiian culture and stunning imagery on which to draw from and you choose America’s pre-Independence colonial masters from halfway around the world?
Other 1-star flags: None. There are none other 1-star flags.
No Tottenham Hotspur players are as bad as the Hawaiian state flag.
Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating: Washington DC/Puerto Rico
These aren’t really state flags, but there’s a non-zero percent chance that they will be in the next few years. They’re also both kinda great.
Lucas Moura, Carlos Vinicius