Provo City officials decided on a new city flag Tuesday after two years of debate, discussions and drawings.
City officials decided to change the design after the North American Vexillological Association, a group dedicated to flag research, ranked Provo’s flag the eighth worst city flag of 150 ranked American cities. (See the Universe’s round up of the best and worst city flags in the United States.) Provo City Mayor John Curtis enlisted the help of his blog readers and locals to vote on various flag designs created in response to the ranking.
“I think residents really got interested and involved in the whole project,” said Provo City Public Relations Coordinator Whitney Booth. “We even had young kids sketching out designs and submitting them. People definitely had an opinion and wanted to be involved in this process.”
The project gained so much momentum that several of the mayor’s blog posts about flag designs received rankings on the top 10 most-read blog posts.
Curtis and Deputy Mayor Corey Norman instituted a small council to oversee creation of the flag — Jason Bates, Provo’s designated vexillologist; Sherrie Hall Everett, a former councilwoman; and Stephen Hales, a current councilman. This council monitored the process of designing and selecting the new flag. The new flag, which is Provo’s third official city flag, displays the Provo city logo on a light blue background.
The first Provo flag was adopted in 1965. It was emblazoned with a white “P” on a red-and-blue background. The second flag was designed in 1985 under the watch of Mayor Joe Jenkins. The flag had the word “Provo” written in bold, black letters and a rainbow bar beneath on a white background. The rainbow on the flag was intended to reflect the eclectic and diverse nature of the city.
Curtis explained that part of the flag design process is “learning what makes a good flag.”
The criteria for a good flag, according to the North American Vexillological Association, includes a design simple enough that a child can draw it, the use of symbols unique to a city or area, limiting colors to no more than three that contrast well, no lettering or seals and a distinctive design.
“We all think the new flag looks great. It goes along really well with our current logo and style guide,” Booth said. “We just need to print the flags now, and we’re already getting residents asking, ‘Where can I buy one?’”