Design a Better Columbia Flag!

See the entries in this video

In the spring of 2017, The Columbia Design League, in partnership with One Columbia for Arts and History, collected ideas and designs from the public for a new city flag. Nearly 550 designs were submitted and, in the fall of 2017, the winning submission will be awarded a $2,500.00 prize, made possible by the Columbia Design League and Columbia Flag and Sign Company.

What’s next?

The 547 submissions are with the North American Vexillological Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of vexillology (the scientific and scholarly study of flag history and symbolism). NAVA is reviewing and rating the designs based on the principles of good flag design.

After their review is complete, we'll share the top designs online so you can rank them for 3-4 weeks early this summer. After the public review, we'll make a design recommendation to Council and look forward to a public unveiling of the new flag in August. 

Why redesign?

The current flag, created in 1912, is rarely displayed in non-governmental locations. With a government seal and outdated imagery, it doesn’t represent our city’s residents nor does it follow the  principles of good flag design.

Need a Flag Design Crash Course?

  1. Keep it Simple: A flag should be so simple that it can be drawn from memory.
  2. Use Meaningful Symbolism: A flag’s images, colors, or patterns should related to what it symbolizes.
  3. Use 2-3 Basic Colors: Limit the number of colors on the flag so they contrast well and come from the standard color set.
  4. No Lettering or Seals: Never use writing or a seal because both appear small and blurry at a distance and can't be understood.
  5. Be Distinctive or Related: Avoid duplicating other flags, but use similarities to show connections.

As a public art initiative, design entries become part of the public domain. No organization will profit from the flag design and the elements of the design will be available to the public to use and repurpose.


Email to submit a design or ask a question.