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Flag Basics – Part 1: Color and Shape


We want to share some of our favorite tips for great flag design. Because this topic is so broad, we have broken it down into four parts. Keep an eye out for parts 2, 3, and 4!

In this first part we will discuss color and shape. While there are no specific rules for flag design, this can help serve as a guide to creating a great flag!

First, COLOR:

‘Paper Flora’ from Design Seeds

Color can be a little intimidating. Basic color theory helps provide an understanding of how colors interact and work together. Using a color wheel or color circle helps show relationships between primary colors, as well as secondary and tertiary colors. Here’s a helpful link to Basic Color Theory

Additionally, there are many great resources available such as Adobe Color or Colour Lovers to find user created color schemes or schemes based on images you provide. Some sites like Design Seeds will break it down into collections by theme.


Start by considering the mood of the music you are trying to interpret. If your goal is to celebrate school spirit, a clean design (simple, straight lines) in school colors is a great choice. If the flag is intended to be part of a competition program and/or be thematic, a more specific design may be in order. Take into consideration the color of the field or floor you’ll be performing on, as well as if there are props or backdrop for the flags to coordinate or contrast.  

Contrasting colors can create tension, perfect for a higher energy piece. Complimentary color schemes can help soften the mood bringing harmony and calm. Try using a vibrant splash against a black or white background for a strong punch!


Band Shoppe offers ten standard flag shapes including Arc, Rectangle, Ultra Curve, Curve, Slant, Teardrop, Shield, Pennant, Triangle, or Swing. But you’re not limited to these shapes! We can work with your ideas to create a flag shape to perfectly compliment your show. If you choose a custom shape, remember to get a sample to make sure it spins the way you hope.

Other Helpful Hints

  • If you want more color, Band Shoppe’s Ultra Prop Film is a great option with easy application and a seamless look. If you choose to tape your flags to the pole, use tape that matches your pole or sleeve color. 
  • When using bolts to weight your poles, prevent them from moving around and clanking by wrapping them with tape, or consider using DSI’s Pole Weight Anchors.
  • Resist the urge to place an obvious hand check marker on your poles. Instead, slide a pony tail holder to the desired location and tape over it in the same color as your pole. This gives you a seamless look from far away but gives you a ridge that can be felt. 
  • Use In Stock Solid Color Flags at practice. Your show flags will thank you by looking as good for your last, and probably most important performance, as they do for your first.

This is Part 1 of our Flag Basics Series, to check out all of our flag posts Click Here.

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