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 $2,000.00 prize, made possible by the Columbia Design League and Columbia Flag and Sign Company.

Final Selection

The 547 submissions were reviewed by the members of the North American Vexillological Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of vexillology (the scientific and scholarly study of flag history and symbolism).The group reviewed each of the more than 540 entries submitted for the public initiative and recommended a group of finalists based on how well they represented the City of Columbia and followed the principles of good flag design.

How to Review the Finalists

The public is invited to review and rate the designs from now until Monday, June 10. To review the finalists, please visit the public commenting site at The website presents the following information for each of the designs:

  1. A large image of the flag design
  2. The entrant's concept for the flag design/ symbolism that was submitted with the entry
  3. A 1-10 rating scale (the higher the number, the more the design appeals to you as the new flag)
  4. An area for comments (optional)

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 With a government seal and outdated imagery, it doesn’t represent our city’s residents nor does it follow the principles of good flag design.

  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 be 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.