Face Flags of Washington, Part 3: Seattle

Seattle, like its encompassing county and state, is represented by a flag with its namesake’s face — in this case, that of the Suquamish Chief Si’ahl (anglicized as Seattle). Si’ahl lived from c. 1786 to 1866. One photograph of him survives (detail above), taken by  L.B. Franklin in 1864.

Flag of Seattle, adopted 1990

The flag was ostensibly designed by Boeing engineer and Seattle councilman Paul Kraabel (1933-2016), and adopted by City Ordinance 28207 on 16 July 1990:

A RESOLUTION expressing the intent of the Mayor and City Council of Seattle, to celebrate the best of athletic achievement and artistic expression through the City’s sponsorship of the Goodwill Games and Goodwill Arts Festival, and declaring Seattle to be The City of Goodwill, and adopting a city flag.

The Goodwill Games were an international sports festival created by Ted Turner to promote cultural exchange between the Soviet Union and the US in reaction to the Olympic boycotts of the 1980s. 2,312 athletes from 34 countries competed in Seattle and other Washington cities in 1990, the first time the games were held in the US.

(Did a Boeing engineer actually design — in any detailed way — this flag? It seems doubtful, as the complex design appears to be the work of a professional graphic designer, but perhaps Kraabel was skilled in this art. If you know the story here, please contact us as info@portlandflag.org.)

As on the King County flag, the face on the Seattle flag is highly stylized, taken from the city seal. The seal itself has a long and interesting history, documented in detail by Fred Poyner IV in a 2009 article in Columbia Magazine. It was the result of extensive lobbying in the 1920s and 30s by Seattle sculptor James A. Wehn (1882-1973). In 1933 a commission was set up to update the city seal, prompted by the opening of the Seattle Art Museum in Volunteer Park and Wehn’s observation the “the cornerstone of the new building would be an excellent place for a city seal”.

Wehn’s design for a city seal was similar to the one he had proposed in 1928. At its center was a profile of Chief Seattle, whom the artist continued to regard as central to Seattle’s founding and historical identity. J. D. Ross had suggested to him that the figure should be “a noncontroversial subject” and that “one pioneer could not be singled out without offending others.” From this standpoint, a profile of the Suquamish chief was an excellent choice. Beyond all that, the image of Chief Seattle was stamped in Wehn’s memory from the time when, as a young boy in 1896, he took a trip with his father and mother to visit Suquamish, “where a great number of Indians lived and where Chief Seattle is buried.”

Wehn’s profile design nearly abandoned in favor of a full-face likeness of Chief Seattle, but ultimately prevailed upon intervention by Wehn and the city’s arts community.

Wehn’s design, adopted 1937.

Wehn’s design was featured on an earlier, unofficial city flag patterned after the state flag, created in 1943 by councilman Frank McCaffery.

McCaffery’s unofficial flag, 1943.

Wehn died in 1973. As Poyner notes:

The artist’s death coincided with a renewed effort by the Seattle Board of Public Works to create a new city symbol and develop a “corporate identity program.” In response to this perceived need for city government to have a cohesive look throughout its various departments, the David Strong Design Group unveiled a trio of new logos in July 1974. One of these, based on Wehn’s official seal design, presented a silhouette profile of Chief Seattle, albeit rendered with highly stylized lines and curves.

Revised seal design by David Strong Design group, 1974.

This is the likeness of Seattle that appears on the current flag. The problem, however, is that the current city flag appears… nowhere. Athen Nguyen lays out the need for a new city flag in his Medium essay Seattle needs a new flag and 12s prove it: How the ‘12th Man’ flag fills the void of a quality Seattle flag:

When Seattle City Council doesn’t fly the flag of the city that it serves, that means something. There is a reason that we almost never see the Seattle flag but see the 12th Man flag everywhere. As it stands, the Seattle flag is aesthetically unappealing and needs a redesign that represents a more modern Seattle.

For one, the current flag is overcomplicated. Although distinctive, the undulating lines are an eye sore that would be impossible for your average Seattleite to replicate. This breaks one of the most important principles in design by ignoring the power of simplicity. […]

Another problem with the flag is that it was designed for the Goodwill Games, rather than for city alone. It is for this reason that we see the “City of Goodwill” on top of Chief Seattle. Although the Goodwill Games were undoubtedly one significant event in the history of Seattle, this is not true today — especially considering that the Goodwill Games ended in 2001 after losing millions of dollars and political relevancy following the fall of the USSR.

This points to another design problem by imposing on another key principle of flag design: no lettering or seals. When a flag has to resort to the use of letters rather than using meaningful symbolism, it is already failing as a flag.

Couldn’t have said it better ourselves. (And we are sorry to note that Athen Nguyen died tragically at the hands of a drunk driver this January, at age 22.)

For more on the Seattle city flag, see:

Riley Raker’s redesign.


Face Flags of Washington, Part 2: King County

Washington state’s most populous county, King, also uses a flag with a face on it: a stylized portrait of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.


The flag was adopted in 2009 after over 20 years of efforts, lead by African American politicians and civil rights activists Ron Sims and Larry Gossett, to re-affiliate King County with Rev. King rather than its original namesake, US Vice President William Rufus Devane King.

It’s a fascinating story:

William R. King (1786-1853)

1852: The Oregon Territorial legislature creates King County, naming it after Buchanan’s VP who had just been elected. King was a wealthy plantation owner from North Carolina who owned over 500 slaves in Alabama. A follower of Andrew Jackson, he was one of Alabama’s first US senators upon that state’s admission to the union in 1819. He served as VP for only 45 days in 1853 until he succumbed to tuberculosis.

Co-sponsor Bruce C. Laing (l) with Ron Sims.

1985: Ron Sims is elected the first African American county councilor in Washington, to the King County Council. Sims promotes the idea of prominent political journalist Shelby Scates to “rename” the county to honor MLK. With support from Republican ally Bruce Laing he leads a successful effort in 1986 to adopt a motion to this effect, stating that MLK much better represents the ideals to which current residents aspire much better than does an obscure 19th century slave owner.

Systemic racism was apparent in the debate, however:

The motion did not sail through unopposed. One councilmember stated that the council should “leave the historical record alone”. Several citizens defended the slaveholding vice president, with one calling “him a ‘marvelous man’ who cared deeply about adequate housing and ‘proper nutrition’ for his slaves”, and another presenting the argument that back in the original King’s time, “it was no different to own a slave than it is today to own a microwave”. A snarky Seattle Times piece said, “I’m sure we all feel much better now that the King County Council has changed the name of King County to King County,” and finished by asking, “when are we going to rename our state after Booker T. Washington, and dump that other slave-owning, historical-blemish, George Washington”. (Michael Schein, Renaming King County to Honor the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)

Flag of King County, 1987-2006.

1987: Council ordinance 8227 specifies: “The official King County flag shall consist of the county logo of a gold crown and encircling double gold rings on a rectangular green background.”

County councilman Larry Gossett soliciting support to change the county logo in 2000. (From a 2017 essay by county records management specialist Rochelle James.)
The question of William King’s sexuality had become introduced into the debate.

1999: Larry Gossett, who replaced Sims as the only African American councilman in King County, begins pushing for the county logo to be changed from a crown to a likeness of MLK. Debate again ensues, with opponents pointing out that without action by the state legislature King County was still officially named after William, not Martin, King — local government actions notwithstanding. Furthermore:

Perhaps the most surprising element of the debate, however, was raised by a Seattle lawyer, Jason Kelly. Kelly noted that William King was probably homosexual, which would have made him in all likelihood the first gay American vice president. [King had had an intimate relationship with bachelor president James Buchanan, living together for 14 years.] If true, then as the county moved toward honoring an African American the concern was that it might be disrespecting the gay community. (Schein)

This objection that renaming the county would be an anti-gay slight was ultimately dismissed by the gay community, with Seattle gay activist Dan Savage declaring “I think ‘out’ gay people are embarrassed by bad gay people. Anybody in the 19th century who owned slaves when they should have known better is by definition a bad gay person”.

Gossett and Gov. Gregoire unveil the new logo, March 2007. (Photo by Grant M. Haller/Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

2007: Gossett’s proposed logo change is finally adopted. In 2005 the legislature after persistent pressure  (eight tries by state senator Adam Kline) passed a bill renaming the county. Despite the bill passing unanimously in the senate and by a 2/3 majority in the house, there was vociferous opposition. The Seattlish blog wrote in 2015:

The change — which would require new logos across County paperwork, on the uniforms of Sheriff’s deputies, and new emblems on official buildings, would cost around $500,000 which, naturally, plenty of people thought of as “a waste.“

Interestingly, it was the logo change in 2006 (and not the actual change of namesake in 1986) that seemed to rile most people. And while basically none of us are missing the $500k it cost to make the changes (nor have I ever heard someone pining for that fucking crown), at the time, plenty of people were very upset at what they saw as a political ploy by Sims (who did later go on to work for the Obama administration because duh, conspiracy).

“Dr. King should be spinning in his grave with embarrassment now that Ron Sims’ idiocy, corruption and contempt for the public will all transpire under the cover of King’s own image,” wrote Stefan Sharkansky for Sound Politics.

”It’s very insulting to the memory of the original Vice President King to have the county renamed, in his name, to that of MLK. Even if MLK was a more historically important figure, isn’t there some other way to honor him than by simply capitalizing on the fact that he shares the same last name as that of the county and a former VP?” wrote another commenter.

[…] Still, the logo change passed handily.  The only two who opposed were Republicans Jane Hague and Kathy Lambert […], who said their main concern was — are you ready for this? — that King’s estate could come after the county for royalties if the logo was ever used commercially.

Guess what? They didn’t.

There was also celebration, as Seattlish continues:

The logo, which was phased in over a five-year period (yeah, this whole story actually just ended in 2012, like almost 30 years after it all began) was revealed in 2007 in a much more celebratory manner than the actual change in namesake ever was. Community members gathered to see the new design and praise the decision by the Council.

In making the change, King County became the first government in the United States whose logo was the likeness of a civil rights activist. The County also took another step toward directly confronting a history of fucked-up treatment of people of color.

Sims, Gossett, and Council Chair Dow Constantine unveil the new county flag at a MLK Day celebration in Seattle, January 2009. (Photo by Dan DeLong/Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

2009: The new county flag is unveiled. It’s interesting to note that the words “King County” were added to the flag despite not being mentioned in its definition, which reads: “The official King County flag shall consist of the county logo of a likeness of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on a rectangular green background.” (Ordinance 15378, enacted 2006). Ordinance 15700 (enacted 2007) defines the logo as having the text attached, however.

One of Gossett’s arguments was that since the state seal features Washington’s likeness, and Seattle’s features Chief Sealth’s, it was only fitting that the intermediate jurisdiction of King County should also feature a likeness of its namesake. In Part 3 of the Face Flags of Washington, we’ll look down one level, at Seattle’s seal and flag.

Face Flags of Washington, Part 1: State of Washington

The state flag of Washington stands out among its brethren:  not only is it uniquely green, it uniquely bears the likeness of an actual person.  People appear on many US state flags, but other than on Washington’s they stand for generic farmers, pioneers, etc. (Many believe the figures on Kentucky’s flag are Daniel Boone and Henry Clay, but this is unsanctioned by any official document.)

The flag of Washington state. Designed by a committee of the Daughters of the American Revolution, officially adopted 1923.

Just in case the viewer is unfamiliar with George Washington, the Daughters of the American Revolution in designing the flag have helpfully included the entire state seal, which identifies itself with a circular inscription: THE SEAL OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON 1889.  Alas, for the extremely literally minded, we are left with a flag that could be read as saying that it is a seal.

A Washington state seal.

Confused yet?  As a public service, we offer the following improvement:

Just to clear up any confusion.
Just to clear up any confusion.

Flag trivia books like to say that Oregon’s is the only double-sided state flag, and there is no denying that a (poorly rendered) beaver is different than a bunch of text and a seal.

Oregon’s double-sidedness.

However, the Washington flag is often also made to be double-sided, so that the seal appears the same on both front and back, with George always facing left (towards the hoist on the front, away from the hoist on the back).

This adds complexity to manufacturing, as a seal must be sewn onto the back of the flag.  So many inexpensive Washington flags are simply printed onto fabric, which makes the reverse look like this:

Back (reverse) of the Washington flag if printed on fabric.
Back (reverse) of the Washington flag if simply printed on fabric.

Where does the image of George come from? Washington’s flag represents a rare intersection between the worlds of flags and postage stamps, as noted by the Secretary of State’s office:

The emblem on the state flag is the state seal, which was first designed in 1889 by Olympia jeweler Charles Talcott. Talcott used an ink bottle and a silver dollar to draw the rings of the seal, and then pasted a postage stamp in the center for the picture of George Washington. His brother L. Grant Talcott lettered the words “The Seal of the State of Washington 1889” and another brother, G. N. Talcott, cut the printing dye. In the seal used on the state flag, the picture of George Washington has a blue background and is encircled by a gold ring with black lettering.

To conclude, here is a sampling of proposed alternative flag designs for the Evergreen State, from the Vexillology Wiki:

See also:

Voting Ends 8/8 for Albany Flag Contest

In June we announced the launch of a process to find a flag for Albany, Oregon initiated by our fellow Oregonians at GUAVA (Greater Unified Albany Vexillological Association). Five finalists have been chosen and the public has been rating each on a scale of 0 (low) to 10 (high) at cityofalbany.net/flag.  This phase ends this Monday (8 August), so if you want to weigh in on the five contenders and haven’t yet, please do so soon!

Here renditions by graphic designer Steve Kodis (of People’s Flag of Milwaukee fame)  of what the flag designs would look like in flight, along with the “artist’s statement” for each.

The two green triangles represent Agriculture and Timber, their combined shape is a tree which represents Albany’s status as a tree city. The two blue stripes represent the Calapooia and Willamette rivers. The gray background represents rare metals and roads.

The triangle wedge on the hoist symbolizes the three names Albany has been called: Takena, New Albany and Albany, with the color green representing the nature and agriculture of Albany.

The 12 pointed star within a circle represents both how the 12 neighborhoods of Albany come together as one community, but it creates 12 white arrows that look inwards towards Albany for guidance as county seat and the Hub City.

The purple stripe is a symbol of Albany’s uniqueness as no current country or American state flag uses purple.

The blue stripe is a symbol of the Willamette River, upon which Albany was founded, and provided the bulk of Albany’s economy during the early years.

The grey stripe is the symbol of Albany being the rare metals capital of the world, upon which much of the current economy is based. The gray stripe also enforces Albany’s uniqueness, as it is a color used rarely in country and American state flags.

Title, ‘Confluence and Crossroads.’ The blue portions represent the confluence of the Calapooia and Willamette rivers. The gray portion represents Interstate 5 and Hwy 20 intersecting, a nod to our Hub City nickname; the gray is also representative of our metal industry. The green portion represents our agriculture, timber, and Tree City designation. The overall design forms an A representing Albany as well.

This flag has a Northwest color scheme of green, blue and black.

Green symbolized Albany’s place as the grass seed capital and its emerging filbert tree market.

Blue symbolizes the importance of the Willamette River and Calapoolia River in their role in establishing Albany and Kalapuya Tribe.

Black represents metal because Albany is the “rare metals capital of the world.”

The white bridge give this flag a landmark and ties in with other symbols currently in use throughout Albany.

The angle at the front of the flag symbolizes Albany’s location within the valley and looks like the slope of a roof of one of Albany’s many historic homes.

Drawing inspiration from the flag of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon, in which the Kalapuya tribe was associated, this design silhouettes our city’s background. Using the colors yellow, reflecting wheat or grain, and blue, resembling our Willamette River, the logo is placed on a green background that represents the forests our state is known for.

Bree Henderson Spurs Laconia, NH To Redesign Its Flag

Situated between lakes Winnipesaukee and Winnisquam, the small New Hampshire city of Laconia has technically had a flag since 1965.  Technically, but not really in practice, as the Laconia Daily Sun notes, “a facsimile flag is encased and hangs on the wall in the Laconia City Council chambers, but that really is the extent of the functionality of the city’s current flag”.

According to city code this is Laconia’s current flag:

1965 design by high school student Frank Decoster. The top triangle is “International green”, the bottom “International blue”, and the side triangles are white. The city seal in black on gold is centered over a map of Lake Winnipesaukee in dark blue. Lettering is in gold with a black outline.

The “facsimile flag” on display in council chambers is a bit different:

The flag as rendered for display differs from how it is specified in code: the seal is in brown and gold, the shape of the lake is different, and the lettering is missing its black outline. “Winnipesaukee” starts on the lake but extends far off to the right in difficult-to-read gold-on-white. (Photo by Ed Pierce,  The Citizen.)

In fact, the facsimile flag does not appear to be a flag at all, but more of a poster.  With a bit more digging, we found evidence that at least one actual flag had been made:

A flag displayed as part of a history exhibit at the public library more closely matches the specifications, though purple has replaced “international blue”. (From a photo by Ed Pierce, The Citizen.)

The obscurity of the Laconian flag is coming to an end, however. Local vexillonaire and entrepreneur Bree Henderson (of the Polished & Proper Barbershop & Shave Parlor), inspired by Roman Mars’ TED Talk, asked the city to sponsor a redesign contest late last year:

Bree Hendersen [sic], a resident in Ward 4, addressed the Council regarding the lack of exposure of the City flag within the City. The City flag is 50 years old, adopted by the City Council in 1965, and has not been raised on flag poles throughout the City as it should be. B. Hendersen reviewed some historical information about the flag and questioned if the City flag is useful to the meaning of the City and suggested that a well-designed and used City flag could assist with the identification of the City. The elements of a flag, such as that of the City of Chicago, is a great example of what a well-designed flag can do. B. Hendersen proposed the idea to have a contest to redesign the City flag to be a better tool for the community. Councilor Lipman noted that this is a great idea and thanked B Hendersen for coming forward. (From the city council meeting minutes of 9 November 2015)

Bree Henderson, from a photo on Facebook.

Less than a year later, the contest to redesign the flag was launched today.  Prizes of $500, $300, and $200 will be awarded the top three designs. You have until Labor Day (5 September) to submit your proposed design at the Laconia Public Libary or by emailing laconiacityflag2016@gmail.com. For more information, visit the City Flag of Laconia Facebook page.

If all goes well, Laconia should have a fine laconic flag by the end of the year — particularly if designers make use of the guidelines in the itself laconic Good Flag, Bad Flag.

In Limbo, Waiting For Approval

Several city flag redesign proposals have won public competitions, but have not been approved by their city governments as official city flags. Almost all contest winners find themselves in this state immediately after a contest ends, but sometimes the wait for an official decision can extend apparently indefinitely.  What can be done to move these winning designs out of limbo?

Portland, Maine

Newspaper group BDN Maine announced just yesterday that Matthew Morey’s design “Portland Beacon” had won their redesign contest.

06 Portland Beacon by Matthew Moray of South Portland

But the announcement ends with a question, rather than a plan for moving forward:

Congrats to Matthew. Next question: Who wants to take the next step and make this Portland’s next flag?

Bellingham, Washington

Brad Lockhart’s design won a contest organized by the Downtown Bellingham Partnership in March 2016.


There is an ongoing effort to support this flag, with a the BellinghamFlag Facebook page having over 1,200 supporters. 175 people purchased 194 flags for $7672 through Kickstarter, which attracted enthusiastic participation (and publicity) from Roman Mars.

Though the Kickstarter campaign ended this month, its highly entertaining video is still worth watching.

Fargo, North Dakota

In December 2015 Taylor Homoky’s unconventional design won a contest hosted by a Fargo non-profit, The Arts Partnership working with the city’s Arts and Culture Commission.


The partnership submitted the winning design, along with 15 other runners-up, to the commission and “asked for direction from the arts commission and city staff on where the flag search should go next” (see Search for Fargo flag now in hands of city staff). That news item concluded:

Dan Mahli, Fargo’s community development administrator, said he will share the flag designs with the public relations office, which is now working on a city slogan.

Mahli said he may also try to get the submitted flag designs examined by design professionals. Hopefully, they can determine which design best matches the new city slogan, Mahli said.

Fargo’s government may be making the mistake of seeing the city flag only as their flag, rather than the people of Fargo’s flag — and thus requiring coordination with the city’s professional branding efforts, and likely greatly limiting its popular adoption (see also: the case of Provo).

This month Fargo’s mayor announced that the new slogan is “Far more”.  No word on the flag, though — far more deliberation is apparently needed.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

As we reported earlier this month “Sunrise Over the Lake” by Robert Lenz won a flag redesign contest organized by vexillonaire Steve Kodis’s group People’s Flag of Milwaukee Design Initiative and a local non-profit.


Part of the strategy for drumming up support for the flag is the merchandising of Sunrise Over the Lake products, including the People’s Sock of Milwaukee.


We salute Matt Wild of the Milwaukee Record for possibly the funniest vexillological lede seen so far:

On June 14, following a highly publicized contest that drew more than 1,000 entries, a group called “The People’s Flag of Milwaukee” unveiled, well, the“People’s Flag of Milwaukee.” The new flag was meant to replace the current Milwaukee flag, which, as we all know, violates the five rules of good flag design that Christ preached to his disciples, and was deemed highly odious by podcast host Roman Mars. And when Roman Fucking Mars says change your flag, you change your flag.

But are Milwaukee aldermen listening?

New Flags for Australia’s States?

by Max Liberman, Vexilloid Tabloid #58

In 2001, Australian vexillographer Brendan Jones produced a series of intriguing proposals for new Australian state flags. The designs follow the pattern established by the flags of the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory: the southern cross from the national flag in a panel at the hoist, and an emblem representative of the state in the fly.

For New South Wales, the hoist is dark blue and the fly sky blue (the state color), bearing a red waratah (the state flower).  Jones notes that the waratah “is also of significance to many local Aboriginal peoples and hence serves as an important symbol of Aboriginal recognition and reconciliation”.

The proposal for Victoria is in dark blue and white. In the fly, an eight-pointed star, taken from the historic Eureka flag of 1854, is counterchanged and combined with an inverted triangle to form the shape of the state’s initial “V”.

For Queensland, the hoist again is dark blue; the gold fly (which represents the state’s sunshine and golden beaches) is charged with a stylized Cooktown orchid (the state’s floral emblem) in maroon, the state color. The orchid’s six petals represent Queensland as the sixth and last of Australia’s states to have been established as a British colony.

South Australia’s heraldic colors of blue, gold, and red all appear in its proposed flag. The blue hoist represents the Southern Ocean and the red fly the desert of the Outback; a narrow gold fimbriation separates the two and the fly is charged with the piping shrike from the existing state flag and coat of arms.

The design for Western Australia uses the state’s heraldic and sporting colors of black (hoist) and gold (fly); the gold also represents the state’s mineral wealth and expansive desert. The fly bears the state emblem, the black swan, which appears in the current flag and badge and evokes the state’s former name, the Swan River Colony.

For Tasmania, both the state’s unofficial sporting color (green) and its heraldic colors (red and white) are used.  The hoist is red and the fly white, charged with a map of the state in green; the green also symbolizes Tasmania’s natural heritage.

On the whole, the proposed designs are clear and distinctive, and the unifying pattern of the hoist panel with the southern cross makes them unmistakably Australian. All of them would be a considerable improvement over the British colonial ensigns currently serving as state flags. But it might also be felt that the use of the NT/ACT model inappropriately blurs the constitutional distinction between Australia’s states and territories, and that for the states’ flags to adhere to a uniform template does not serve to represent their individual identities and their status as sovereign entities within the Australian federation.

Jones’s website featuring the designs can be found at http://bc.id.au/flags/.


A Flag for the Hub City of Oregon

Albany, Oregon wants to join the ranks of cities with flags.  Spurred by the vexillonaires of GUAVA (the Greater Unified Albany Vexillological Association), led by West Albany High School math teacher Cole Pouliot, the city is running a design contest through 5 pm Pacific Time on 5 July 2016.  The design contest winner will receive a $100 prize.

You can submit up to three entries by visiting cityofalbany.net/flag.

On that webpage you will find this primer on Albaniana:

What is Albany to you? Here are some facts to get started.

  • Albany is the county seat of Linn County, and the 11th largest city in the State of Oregon.
  • Albany is located in the Willamette Valley at the confluence of the Calapooia River and the Willamette River in both Linn and Benton counties.
  • Albany is credited by historians and architects with having the most varied collection of historic buildings in Oregon.
  • Albany, previously a primarily an agricultural and wood products manufacturing town, now calls itself the “rare metals capital of the world”, producing zirconium, hafnium and titanium.
  • Albany and the surrounding communities are major exporters of grass seed.
  • Albany’s easily accessible location along major roadways, railways, the Santiam-Albany Canal as well as the WIllamette and Calapooia Rivers cemented Albany’s original nickname of Oregon’s Hub City.

The flag contest presents an opportunity for Albany to adopt for the first time a symbol of its unique character and history, as it currently has only the generic Americana of its city seal.

For more on the contest and GUAVA, see the Albany Democrat-Herald article announcing the contest.

Derek Duman and Cole Pouliot presenting the GUAVA flag at last month’s PFA meeting.

Vexilloid Tabloid #58

The latest issue of the PFA newsletter is here:  The Vexilloid Tabloid #58 (June 2016). Featuring:

  • Introduction: NZ, VT, and Albany (Ted Kaye)
  • A U.S. Canton Honoring Alaska (Michael Orelove)
  • A Flag for the Other Portland (Ted Kaye)
  • Czech Municipal Flags (interview with Petr Exner by Scott Mainwaring)
  • Redesigning the U.S. Flag (Scott Mainwaring)
  • New Flags for Australia’s States? (Max Liberman)

As always, you can find notes from the last PFA meeting, a roundup of flag-related news and notes, the What’s that Flag? quiz, and Portland Flag Miscellany (flag usage in Portland and the many uses of Portland’s city flag).

And, as always, it’s free and worth every penny!




Pride, Unity, and Flag Design

In Vexilloid Tabloid #57 we reported on a research project by Australian high school senior Max Pickering.  Since then, he has interviewed a number of vexillologists; conducted surveys of residents of his home town of Adelaide, South Australia; and revised his research question to the following:

To what extent does the design of a flag influence its ability to evoke a sense of identity and pride?

The results of his study are nicely presented in this 12 minute YouTube video.


Survey Results
Survey results: Proportion of respondents agreeing that the flag produces pride or unity, or is well designed, for the Australian national flag vs. the Adelaide city flag.