Make the People's Flag of Milwaukee the Official City Flag

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By now, you may have heard news that the Milwaukee Arts Board has announced plans to start yet another process to create a new flag for the City of Milwaukee.

The logical question is, why? A recent four-year effort to commission a new flag was completed in 2016 through countless hours of volunteer work and community engagement that resulted in the natural adoption of The People’s Flag of Milwaukee throughout the city and beyond.

Not a day goes by when you won’t notice The People’s Flag flying throughout this community and represented in the proud branding of local Milwaukee products.

We believe a new process is unnecessary and counterproductive to Milwaukee’s future, as it discredits the thorough and inclusive process executed in the adoption of The People’s Flag.

In addition to valuing the time and effort spent during the first redesign process, city officials are estimating a new initiative to cost upwards of $100,000. We believe that money can be better spent elsewhere.

The flag debate has been going on for years, and The People’s Flag has proven to be the most widely-adopted and effective solution the city has ever achieved. The City of Milwaukee has tried to replace our current city flag at least twice since its adoption in 1954. An effort in 1975 produced unfavorable results, ending by the City taking no action. Again in 2001, the Milwaukee Arts Board tried and failed at producing a compelling flag design.

This lack of success inspired a private citizen and graphic designer, Steve Kodis, and local nonprofit, Greater Together, to create a new initiative led by the public.

The People’s Flag of Milwaukee Design Initiative inspired citizens to think differently about our city by opening dialogue with our young people, professionals, and citizens alike to imagine a new symbol for Milwaukee. A symbol people could actually take pride in.

The process was covered extensively by local and national press, resulting in over 1,000 design submissions. Never in Milwaukee’s history has there been an initiative with this amount of public support. In fact, the People’s Flag initiative garnered more public support and participation than all previous efforts combined.

This process also came at no cost to the taxpayers of Milwaukee, funded entirely by local nonprofit, Greater Together and the Wisconsin chapter of AIGA.

Let’s show our city officials that we’re ready to move forward by formally adopting the People’s Flag as the official city banner.