Columbia, Missouri’s logo is intended to represent harmonious relations between the city’s government and its citizens:
City employees and citizens exist in an interwoven relationship. As a representation of this cooperative working bond, the distinctive City of Columbia logo depicts people joined together in an unending circle of community service. A solid version of the logo appears on city-owned vehicles, uniforms and correspondence as a reminder of this cooperative goal. [From FOTW research on the city flag]
Alas, in its simplified form used in the actual logo, it looks like four men in a hot-tub. The city used this logo flag from 1988 until this year, when a flag contest was held to redesign the flag.
The contest produced three finalists.
On 2 May 2016 the City Council chose Sheltmire’s design as the official city flag.
Alicia Troesser, Art Director of the marketing firm Caledon Virtual, offered a “friendly critique”. In it she points out that using a logo — any logo — is problematic:
What happens if the city decides to update or refresh the logo 10 years from now? Do they redesign the flag?
Of course, not every logo comes with a mnemonic as memorable as “four men in a hot-tub”. For better or worse, it may be associated with Columbia for a long time to come.
(For many other examples of city flags being considered for redesign, see our Municipal Flag Improvement page.)