A nation’s flag is not a static symbol. As the United States of America added states to the union, the number of stars increased. The break-up of the Soviet Union into member nations revived a number of flags. However, Nadeem Haidary, an independent graphic designer, wondered whether a flag could represent a nation and provide information about how the nation was doing—its unemployment rate, school enrollment or life expectancy, for example.
Haidary created “State of the Union,” an infographic American flag that achieved both ends. The flag clearly represents the red, white and blue—with a twist. The iconic red stripes act as bar graphs that document the national divorce rate, and there are 76 white stars on a blue background, a number that represents the life expectancy of the average American. Haidary’s prototype flag was printed single-sided reverse using dye sublimation on 500D polyester. He has also explored digitally what flags might look like for four other countries: Japan, Sweden, India and Canada.