Simplifying El Paso’s flag

Upon hearing Roman Mars repeat Ted Kaye’s dictum In every bad flag there’s a good flag trying to get out,  James Reyes decided to simplify the flag of his hometown, El Paso, Texas, from this:


to this:


Adding to the list of city flag improvement efforts underway in the US he began lobbying for a new flag, publishing an article in the El Paso Times, writing to the mayor and city council, and establishing a discussion group on Facebook.

In American City Flags, John Purcell presents the convoluted story of the existing flag:

In 1948 the city for the first time defined its flag: the city seal in gold on a field of light blue.  The seal at that time was a star with the letters spelling TEXAS placed between its points, and the city’s name in a ring around it.  But this flag was never made, because the manufacturer substituted the Texas state seal modified to include the city’s name.  (This “crest” at some point became the city’s official seal.)  The substitution was unnoticed until a group of girl scout embroiderers in 1962 decided to take on the city flag as a project and discovered the original seal.  Which led to the city asking its planning department (!) to design a new flag that would be “more authentic historically”.  The planning department created a design that called for seven colors: golden-yellow (for the richness of a sunny climate), yellow-green (for hope, good fortune, fertile land, and vitality), silver (for faith), white (for purity), blue (for sincerity), and “red-purple (two shades)”,  this last for fellowship, warmth, and shelter.  (The two shades of maroon were intended to have the area around the sun symbol be darker that the rest of the maroon areas.  This complexity was dropped by the time an ordinance was passed.)

What about the girl scouts? According to the city’s Records Management Division, “Due to the complex design, the girl scouts did not embroider the flag and it was machine made by a specialist.”

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