Thanks to the efforts of vexillonaires Connor Mahlbacher and Zachary Carter, the city of Fayetteville, Georgia has launched an online design contest to redesign its municipal flag. Flag designers are welcome to submit proposals at fayetteville-ga.gov/flag, and are encouraged to view Roman Mars’ TED talk on municipal flag design, and to consult NAVA’s Good Flag, Bad Flag guidebook. The deadline is 5PM Eastern Time, Monday, October 15, 2018.
The Flags of the World database provides information about the current text-heavy red, white, and blue tricolor flag the city adopted in 2002. Local designer and artist Nita McFarlin won a design contest that year, explaining “I designed the flag with the same colors as France, since LaFayette was French and Fayetteville is named for him. Also, the double t in Fayetteville serves as the foundation for the clock tower. I believe the courthouse, being the oldest in Georgia, is most recognized by the tower and clock.”
The search for a new flag has generated some controversy, as evidenced in this July 2017 letter to the editor of local newspaper The Citizen by the county historian, Carolyn Cary. She apparently sees an educational purpose to having words on flags: “If someone wants to create a new city flag devoid of any historical elements and any wording, go ahead. But that is not going to teach children and new residents a thing about our history.”
On the other hand, Mayor Ed Johnson has been generally supportive. When Mahlbacher and Carter spoke before the city council earlier that same month about the need for a redesign, The Citizen reported:
Mayor Ed Johnson thanked Carter for his comments, and suggested Carter be on a committee to see if the flag should be updated.
Carter agreed, and Johnson gave him a preview of what his new position might entail.
“Just be prepared for some blowback,” he said.
Controversy and blowback often come with the territory of local efforts to improve existing flag designs.