There is near-unanimous consent that Spokane’s former city flag had to go, but now the search for consensus on a new design begins.
Voting on the new city flag will open on Monday.
The culmination of an approximately two-year process, Spokane-area residents will choose from 12 finalist flag designs.
The proposals are varied, but many include symbols alluding to the sun, Spokane River, fish and mountains. The city has released a voter’s guide that introduces the artist behind each proposal and their explanation for the design.
Voting requires only a Spokane Public Library card and is open to residents of the city, Spokane County and members of the Spokane Tribe of Indians. Voting is conducted on the Spokane Public Library website at spokanelibrary.org/account, where users can go to their account dashboard and click on the link for the Spokane Flag vote.
A library card can be obtained for free atspokanelibrary.org/signup. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. on May 2.
The winner will be chosen by ranked voting, meaning voters can rank the finalists by their order of preference.
Under the process laid out by the Spokane Flag Commission, the result of the vote will be binding.
The new flag will replace the current iteration adopted in the 1970s, which is rarely used. Its design commits a number of sins in the world of vexillology, or the study of flags, including difficult-to-read text.
The flag features two diagonal stripes of Expo ’74 blue and green, as well as a circle containing a yellow sun and four silhouetted figures holding hands. The text reads “CHILDREN OF THE SUN” and “CITY OF SPOKANE.”
A previous round of voting last year narrowed down the roughly 400 design submissions to 100 semifinalists.
The 12 finalists were chosen by the Flag Commission, a volunteer group that includes representatives from each of the three City Council districts, the mayor’s office, the Spokane Tribe and the Spokane Arts Commission.
The artists behind the proposals are nearly as diverse as the designs themselves. While many either live or were raised in Spokane, they are from as far away as Ontario.
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