Cedar Rapids is one step closer to having a new city flag, and now residents are being asked to help make the final selection.
The top choice will be presented to the Cedar Rapids City Council to be adopted as the new official city flag.
“We are excited to offer the opportunity for Cedar Rapids residents to help select the new flag design,” Councilmember Ashely Vanorny said in a news release. “The flag is a symbol that will represent the community, so it’s important that the community feels a connection to the final design. I hope people will really embrace the new flag and we start to see it all over as a point of pride for the people of Cedar Rapids.”
All four flags use the same color scheme, although the meaning of the colors can vary slightly from flag to flag, as the city’s official description, provided below, explains.
The current city flag was chosen in 1962 after a design contest was held among students in Cedar Rapids high schools.
The winning design was created by Fred Easker Jr. and included designs of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, churches, corn stalks, factories and as unfinished buildings to show the city’s future development. The ribbon on the bottom represents the Cedar River.
Almost 60 years later, the city began the process of redesigning the city flag in June 2019. The goal was to create a flag that reflects the city while also incorporating feedback from residents, the city said in a news release.
From June 2019 to November 2019, residents were encouraged to submit ideas, colors, shapes and symbols for a new flag. More than 200 individuals shared their ideas.
Vanorny said in a Facebook post that the top themes from the public outreach were the five seasons, river, nature, renewal and infrastructure. The top symbols were river, five seasons, stars and Mays Island. Citizens felt like green, blue and white were the colors that best represented Cedar Rapids.
Once the public input was gathered, local graphic designers took the public input to create several possible designs. Members of the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA) provided ratings, comments and suggestions on the designs. Using the NAVA feedback and more public input, a local committee narrowed down the choices to four final designs.
The flag design process was expected to take one year, but the project was put on hold last summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic and August 2020 derecho.
The designs of each of the final four are intended to incorporate themes, symbols and colors that survey respondents suggested best represent the city.
An unveiling of the flag will take place in the main lobby of the Cedar Rapids Public Library on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 10 a.m. The downtown farmer’s market will be happening just outside the library.
The city said the flag should be a “symbol of pride for the community” and residents will be able to have a say in how it’s used. All design files will be publicly available for printing and other community uses, according to the city.
The city will continue to use the Tree of Five Seasons as its logo and official brand, according to Vanorny.
Local businesses that want to create flag merchandise are encouraged to contact the city at CityFlag@cedar-rapids.org.