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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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The new flag is now flying at Spokane City Hall

UPDATED: Tue., June 15, 2021

Spokane Flag Commission Chair Josh Hiler, left, and flag designer Derek Landers raise the new City of Spokane flag on Tuesday. Spokane City Council member Betsy Wilkerson looks on.  (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Spokane Flag Commission Chair Josh Hiler, left, and flag designer Derek Landers raise the new City of Spokane flag on Tuesday. Spokane City Council member Betsy Wilkerson looks on. (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

Spokane’s new flag was hoisted at City Hall for the first time on Tuesday.

The first redesign of the city flag in more than four decades was officially endorsed by the Spokane City Council on Monday, marking the final step in a process that began in 2019.

The new flag features solid green on its bottom half, topped by a waving blue river that flows across the center and a yellow sun in the top left corner.

Aiming for a straightforward design that still carried significant meaning for Spokane, the flag was created by Spokane resident and graphic artist Derek Landers.

“I really wanted this to be something new that the city could adopt and people could get behind as yet another symbol of what Spokane is all about,” Landers explained to the City Council on Monday.

Landers’ proposal was the winner from the hundreds of proposals submitted to the Spokane Flag Commission, a volunteer board formed by the City Council in 2019 that steered the redesign process.

The Flag Commission held two public votes to settle on a winner; first, it asked voters to help winnow down the massive pool of submissions into a set of finalists. From there, the commission allowed any Spokane Tribe or Spokane Public Library member to vote among the 12 finalists under a ranked-choice system.

After 2,110 votes were counted, Landers’ design was declared the winner.

“Derek’s been around here and knows Spokane, so it’s really cool we actually did pick somebody who understands the city,” said Councilwoman Kate Burke, who championed the redesign.

In a resolution, the City Council honored that choice on Monday.

The previous iteration of the flag was not widely known or used. It was developed in the 1970s by Lloyd L. Carlson, who also created the Expo ’74 mobius strip symbol. But the design contained a number of flaws to those passionate about flags, including the use of text and small figures that are difficult to see from a distance.

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