Provo Mayor John Curtis is on the hunt to find a new flag design to top all other flags Provo has ever flown.
“I was horrified to learn that Provo’s flag was one of the worst in the country,” Curtis wrote on his blog. “Our city flag is in dire need of an overhaul. We are currently in the process of redesigning the flag.”
When Curtis talks of finding out Provo’s flag is one of the worst in the country he is referring to nava.org’s ranking of American city flags. After completing a survey across the country of city flag designs of 150 city flags the site ranked Provo at a low 143.
“One of the things I have enjoyed as mayor is seeing Provo consistently ranked in the top cities for a variety of important factors,” Curtis said. “Imagine my disappointment to learn that out of 150 cities, we were ranked 143rd for our flag.”
The flag’s current design fails to dazzle with a simple white background and the word “Provo” written across the middle in black. The only pop of color to be seen is a rainbow underline.
The redesigning process has already begun, with the City of Provo bringing in the expert opinion of a vexillologist, or someone who studies the symbolism and usage of flags. Jason Bates is Provo’s resident vexillologist on deck to work with the current designs.
Bates’ knowledge of flags has included some specific criteria for the new flag, including the use of unique symbols to the area and an overall design so simple a child could recreate it.
He also points out that Provo has to do what’s best for the flag, not what will make everyone happy.
“Provo has gone through tough vetting,” Bates said. “They need to get their eyes and arms around it. Not everyone can design a flag, and Provo should not be trying to please everyone.”
So far, the design Curtis has proposed has included a lot of symbolism — pointing out the things that make Provo the city it is.
“The two flag designs are cut into three sections. The bottom represents the lake, the middle is the mountain and the upper is the sky,” Curtis wrote. “The stars on the one flag represent the three distinct things that make Provo unique: our people, innovation and quality of life.”
But of course in true Provo fashion the choice of a new flag would not be made without some outside opinion.
“While this is a city council’s decision, I would like to engage you (citizens of Provo) in helping with the process,” Curtis said.
Already, the response on the Internet alone has been tremendous.
So far the different designs have been narrowed down to 51 flags turned in from people all over Provo. The voting has already begun, and some clear winners have made their way to the front of the pack. Once the different possibilities are narrowed down a committee will take a final look and officially propose a new Provo flag.
Curtis is confident that with the help of the Provo community, Bates and a committee the new flag will not disappoint.
“From here we are aiming to engage Bates to head up a small committee to review the suggestions and come to the city council with a proposal.”