This idea has been rattling around in my head for awhile. I may someday write a story to go with it, but for the meantime at least I managed the state and county flags.
Empyrean is the 62nd state to join the Union, and the first state based off of Earth. For decades, the U.S. resisted recognizing territorial claims off of Earth, until it was obliged to recognize the Commonwealth of Hell (Crater) in order to ally with it against aggression by Brazil. Soon after that, the U.S. recognized two other off-Earth nations, and several other at-large provinces and departments of Earth-based nations, and at that point there was no way for Congress to continue ignoring the pleas of Americans living permanently off Earth that they deserved a state of their own.
The state flag follows the lead of Indiana, and shows 61 stars within the circle of Earth and a 62nd star beyond it.
The state was organized in the form of three counties, each defined by orbits: Glenn County was all U.S.-associated space stations and factories in low Earth orbit (hence its flag being a triband which echoes the appearance of the horizon as seen from orbit). Clarke County* covered geosynchronous orbit, while Armstrong County included American territory on the Moon, in Lunar orbit and the Lagrange points.
* No relation to Allen Steele’s novel [http://www.amazon.com/Clarke-County-Space-Allen-Steele/dp/0441110444], except that it is also named after Arthur C. Clarke [https://celestrak.com/columns/v04n07/]