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Have an idea what Salt Lake City's next flag should look like? The city wants your designs

Scott G Winterton, KSL, File

Have an idea what Salt Lake City's next flag should look like? The city wants your designs

By Carter Williams, | Posted - May 1, 2020 at 10:33 a.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — More than a year after announcing the desire for a new city flag, Salt Lake City is now asking for people to submit designs for the project — and a new flag may be flying by the end of the year.

The city is asking anyone and everyone — from school-age children to design experts — with a flag design to submit it through its website from now through June 30. According to the city's website, a person may only submit two entries and all entries must be in a 3-by-5 .jpeg format with at least 300 dots per inch resolution. All designs must use solid colors and should include a short explanation of the design and its symbolism to the city.

Anyone who submitted designs for previous calls for submission are encouraged to do so again through the website.

"Now, in the midst of significant changes to the way we live and how our community functions, one thing has remained steadfast – the character, ingenuity and perseverance of our city and its people," Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall wrote in a message on the city’s website. "Salt Lake City deserves a flag that is emblematic of what we are, and who we are. It deserves a flag we’re proud to see whether it’s waving atop City Hall or outside our very own homes and businesses."

The current flag, which has been in rotation since 2006, has teal and blue bars and an oval in the middle. An outline of some downtown buildings is at the bottom of the oval with mountains overshadowing. A resident created an online petition in 2018 to change it because, well, they thought it was ugly. While that petition didn’t go very far, it did strike a chord with city officials who agreed.

"It doesn’t follow any of (the good flag design) rules," Matthew Rojas, who served as the spokesman for former Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, said at the time. Good flag design tips outlined by Ted Kaye, a vexillologist and author of "Good Flag, Bad Flag," include:

  • Keep it simple
  • Use meaningful symbolism
  • Use two or three basic colors
  • No lettering or seals
  • Be distinctive

Late that year, the city began a survey seeking feedback on what should be included in the flag design. At the time, design submissions were set to begin in early 2019 but that got pushed back and ultimately didn’t happen until Friday.

After June 30, the submitted designs will be reviewed by a committee, which consists of Mendenhall, Kaye, Salt Lake City Council Chair Chris Wharton, Salt Lake City Arts Commission director Felicia Baca, former president of the North American Vexillological Association John Hartvigsen, Utah Muslim Civic League executive director and Salt Lake City human rights commissioner SLC Luna Banuri, SLUG magazine executive editor Angela Brown, University of Utah Student Development and Inclusion executive assistant Samantha Eldridge and Utah Museum of Fine Arts director of learning and engagement Jorge Rojas.

The committee is expected to announce the finalists in July. Those designs will be posted online for a public rating period, which is slated to last from July 10 through Aug. 21. That will be followed by an internal review. A design is expected to be announced on Sept. 15.

The person who creates the winning design will be awarded $3,000.

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