The top four seeded flags in the East division galloped into the Sweet Sixteen over the course of the week, with three outright routs. Maryland found more love than hate, beating up on New Hampshire 25-6, while favorites Rhode Island and DC each ran up a score of 27-4 against Connecticut and Virginia, respectively. The only real contest was in 5th-seed Delaware's contest with 4th-seed Mass, with the Bay State coming out on top by a slim 17-14 margin.
There was even less suspense in the South division, none of the matchups were even close. Third-seed Texas destroyed North Carolina with a unanimous 26-0, setting up another red, white, and blue showdown for second-seed Puerto Rico, which disposed of Arkansas 24-2.
Elsewhere in the South, third-seed South Carolina beat up on Alabama, 22-4. This sets up an interesting showdown with fifth-seed Tennessee, which blew by the pelicans of Louisiana with a decisive 21-5 vote.
Second round drubbings continued in the North and West divisions, with only the contests between fourth and fifth seeds conjuring up anything like suspense. Third seed Indiana led the onslaught against hapless Nebraska with a punishing 25-1 score. First seed Wyoming's 24-2 rout of Michigan and Ohio's 22-4 runup on Montana represent a combined referendum of 71-7 against the last three seal-on-blue flags left in the tourney.
Missouri's bears stayed within reach of Iowa's eagle, but could never quite close the margin; the fourth-seed horizontal tricolor state eventually fell to the Hawkeye State, 15-11.
The first and second seeds in the powerful West division announced their presence with authority, with #1 Alaska trampling on the Northern Marianas 25-1 and #2 New Mexico mounting a decisive 21-5 victory over popular California; by all appearences, California's flag is the first that a large number of voters feel genuinely sorry to see leaving the contest.
Things were a little more interesting in the middle rungs, where sixth seed Colorado kept it respectable, garnering nine votes to put up against Arizona's seventeen. Washington and Hawaii, meanwhile, were too close to call until the final bell; when the smoke cleared, Hawaii's banner emerged on top, 15-11. The West semifinals will therefore feature contests among the four most recent states to join the American Union -- although not by any means, however, the four most recent flag designs. Action resumes Thursday!