Design a Better Columbia Flag!

See Roman Mars give a TED Talk on flag design


Inspired by September 2016 presenter and flag design expert, Ted Kaye, the Columbia Design League has launched a design competition to re-imagine the City of Columbia flag. Adoped in 1912, the current City of Columbia flag features the city seal over a solid blue background. To the left of the seal is a cornstalk and to the right is a spray of cotton. 

Why redesign?

The current flag 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 With a government seal and outdated imagery, it doesn’t represent our city’s residents nor does it follow the  principles of good flag design.

A new design can: 

  • capture our city’s pride and spirit
  • better represent our residents 
  • reflect vibrancy and creativity to non-residents

The Columbia Design League, in partnership with One Columbia for Arts and History, is collecting design submissions from the public for a new city flag. 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.

(click to enlarge)

Three Ways to Submit

  • Mail it!  Sketch your idea and mail it along with your name and contact information to: Flag Design, 1219 Taylor St., Columbia, SC 29201
  • Email it!  Email a PDF, JPG or PNG of your design along with your name and contact information to
  • Post it!  Use #ColaFlag to submit a design by tweeting @DesignLeague, Instagram to @ColumbiaDesignLeague or at 

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.

Design Review

Submissions will be accepted through April 10, 2017. From the submissions, 10 finalist designs will be selected for public input. Based on public input and with support from flag experts with the North American Vexillological Association, a jury of stakeholders and design experts will recommend a final design to be presented to the Mayor and City Council for adoption as the official new flag of the City of Columbia.

An honorarium of $2,000.00, established by the Columbia Design League and Columbia Flag and Sign Company, will be presented to winning flag designer.


Email to submit a design or ask a question.

Download the Guidelines