Columbia, SC Soliciting Feedback On 18 Finalists

As Ted Kaye noted last November, South Carolina’s capital Columbia is looking to replace its SOB flag with something that better reflects the contemporary city and that will be embraced instead of ignored by the public. After receiving 547 proposed designs, the Columbia Design League had a panel of NAVA members select 18 finalists to present to the public for feedback. The whole process is outlined on the Columbia Museum of Art’s website, on a page entitled Design a Better Columbia Flag!

The feedback period ends on July 10th, and allows for greater weight to be given to opinions expressed by those with some connection to the city (people who live there, are from there, or work there) via self-identification questions on the survey website colaflag.org. Unfortunately the survey presents the 18 finalists in a fixed order, which can introduce artifacts into the results; on the other hand, it anonymizes the designs, presents a statement of intended symbolism for each, and allows respondents to not only assign a 1-10 rating for each flag but to leave comments.

Here are the 18 finalists and their descriptions.

01
Design 1: The star represents Columbia as the capital of South Carolina. The crescent ties into the state flag.  Yellow represents justice, which ties into the current flag that displays the scales of justice along with the motto “Justitia Virtutum Regina” or “Justice is the queen of virtues.” White represents peace. Blue represents freedom, vigilance, perseverance, justice, prosperity, peace, and patriotism.​
02
Design 2: The blue is a nod to the state flag and the rivers. The three lines represent the three rivers that define the geography of Columbia. And, the crescent represents the fact that Columbia is the capital city of South Carolina. 
03
Design 3: A blue stripe to represent each river. 
04
Design 4: Red represents the red clay of the Midlands. Blue represents the three rivers that come together near her heart. Yellow represents the bright future ahead of her and the star represents for that the city is the capital of the state and the home of the state government.
05
Design 5: The three lines represent the three rivers that conjoin in Columbia: the Saluda, the Broad, and Congaree. The rivers are not only an integral part of Columbia today, but they also hold historical significance for the overall development of the state. The star represents Columbia as the capital of South Carolina. Blue represents freedom, vigilance, perseverance, justice, prosperity, peace, and patriotism. White represents peace. The indigo blue ties into the state flag. 
06
Design 6: Set on a green field as vast as our greenway and many parks, and like our greenway, three rivers flow through it while it is all bathed by a ‘famously hot’ sun.
07
Design 7: The flag paints a picture of the region itself. Blue lines on a white field: An intersection of three rivers at the sand hills of South Carolina, an ancient sandy coastline. On the Eastern banks lies the capital city of Columbia, South Carolina: the garnet star which survived a civil war,  is a home to our military, continues to fight for civil rights, is a hub for industry, and of course is home to the University of South Carolina.
08
Design 8: Blue represents education and the stars represent the 6 major colleges in Columbia. 
09
Design 9: The star represents Columbia as the capital of South Carolina. The crescent ties into the state flag. The three lines represent the three rivers that conjoin in Columbia: the Saluda, the Broad, and Congaree. The rivers are not only an integral part of Columbia today, but they also hold historical significance for the overall development of the state. Blue represents freedom, vigilance, perseverance, justice, prosperity, peace, and patriotism. White represents peace. Yellow represents justice, which ties into the current flag that displays the scales of justice along with the motto “Justitia Virtutum Regina” or “Justice is the queen of virtues.”
10
Design 10: Blue stripes represent the Broad and Saluda rivers becoming the Congaree. The garnet stripes honors USC’s presence in Columbia.
11
Design 11: Colors: Blue from the state flag, gold from corn of the original Columbia city flag. Crescent moon is emblematic of South Carolina and has ties to the Colonial history of both the state and the Capital City of Columbia. 3 Bars: Represent the 3 rivers that converge in Columbia, but as a group their orientation simulates a wing. Tying back to the naming of the city, “in this town we should find refuge under the wings of COLUMBIA”. -SC Sen. J. L. Gervais of Ninety Six”​
12
Design 12: Star for the capital. Dark blue is the sky and homage to the SC flag. Three simple abstract waveforms for the three rivers.
13
Design 13: The jagged orange shape ties into the tagline “famously hot,” as well as the historical significance of Sherman’s burning of Columbia during the civil war. The star represents Columbia as the capital of South Carolina. White represents peace. Blue represents freedom, vigilance, perseverance, justice, prosperity, peace, and patriotism.
14
Design 14: Six stars to represent those on the State House, indigo blue for SC and a reference to the SC flag, green for Ft. Jackson Army Base, Columbia canal and railroad represented by the middle space.
15
Design 15: The three blue lines are the Broad and the Saluda merging in to the Congaree. The 6 stars are the stars on the State House where it was damaged in the Civil War.​
16
Design 16: Green represents the forests that helped us win the Revolutionary War and orange represents the Sandhills region that runs through Columbia.
17
Design 17: Columbia is known for its river systems (blue lines) and warm climate (yellow sun).
18
Design 18: White stars represent the stars on the State House (endurance) and the blue represents the importance of water transportation in our history​.

Whew! That’s all 18 (see below for a reprise). Remember, you have until 10 July 2017 to leave feedback on colaflag.org.

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Author: SDM

Ethnography * Technology * Design

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