City of Dayton reveals new flag

The City of Dayton unveiled its new flag Wednesday.

The city’s old flag from 1958 was overhauled to a modern abstract design symbolic of the Wright Flyer, five rivers and Gem City.

City officials hope that the new flag will inspire pride, and are making the design publicly available at daytonohio.gov/flag so it can be used beyond city hall for t-shirts, mugs, websites and more.

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“I want to thank the many people that have made this new flag possible,” Mayor Nan Whaley said at the unveiling.

She said that includes the 312 community flag designs initially submitted. This also includes the volunteer flag committee.

Also Dayton-based Catapult Creative designed the final flag, using elements from the top three submitted designs. Finally, she thanked legislative aide Maggie Schaller for her research and leadership on the project.

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Dayton mayor elect, Jeffrey Mims Jr. left, and mayor, Nan Whaley display the new Dayton flag City Hall Wednesday Dec. 15, 2021. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Dayton mayor elect, Jeffrey Mims Jr. left, and mayor, Nan Whaley display the new Dayton flag City Hall Wednesday Dec. 15, 2021. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Combined ShapeCaption
Dayton mayor elect, Jeffrey Mims Jr. left, and mayor, Nan Whaley display the new Dayton flag City Hall Wednesday Dec. 15, 2021. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

The flag’s symbolism includes white stripes reminiscent of the Wright Flyer’s wings. The bold lines and colors, especially the green, symbolize the “Gem City.” The wings of the flyer divide the flag into three sections: a green section symbolizing the land, a dark blue section for riverways in Dayton, and a light blue section symbolizing the sky. In addition, the five angled stripes (four white, one blue) represent the five rivers throughout the region, according to the city officials and designers.

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City Commission gave final approval of the flag design at its regular meeting Wednesday night.

Dayton’s first flag was created in 1917. In 1956, there was an open contest to replace it. A new flag was selected by a six-person group and implemented in 1958 and hasn’t changed since.

In 2019, city officials began public outreach for designs and elements for a new flag with the goal of creating one that reflects the input of residents.

The project had been put on hold March 2020 and through much of 2021 due to the pandemic.

The city flag that was replaced is white and blue and has “Dayton” written down the left side. On the right side is a gear, with a globe inside and a silhouette of the Wright Flyer.

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The city of Dayton flag

The city of Dayton flag

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The city of Dayton flag

A 20-person volunteer committee oversaw the flag redesign process, working with city officials. The steering committee was chaired by Commissioner Jeffrey Mims, who is now mayor-elect, and Dayton Public Schools Board Member Jocelyn Rhynard.

Community members submitted 312 flag design ideas and the flag committee narrowed it to the top 10 flags. The city commission narrowed it to the top three.

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Elizabeth Adams submission. Explanation of flag design: “The diamond in the middle stands for the Gem City. The blue makes me think of the Metroparks. The green makes me think of trees.” (Contributed Photo/Dayton Daily News)

Elizabeth Adams submission. Explanation of flag design: “The diamond in the middle stands for the Gem City. The blue makes me think of the Metroparks. The green makes me think of trees.” (Contributed Photo/Dayton Daily News)

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Elizabeth Adams submission. Explanation of flag design: “The diamond in the middle stands for the Gem City. The blue makes me think of the Metroparks. The green makes me think of trees.” (Contributed Photo/Dayton Daily News)

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Cecelia Freeman submission. Explanation of flag design: “Dayton; a city of innovation, grit, unity in community, and a dynamic river system full of history which provides recreation and fun for all. This flag displays a river in white which also represents the highs and lows that Dayton has gone through and come out stronger.Soaring in the blue sky and above the lowest part of the river on the flag, the 10-point stars shine bright like gems as they rise with grit and resilience through the hardships. The 3-stars represent diversity- convey through size difference-and unity of community. The 10-points of the star bring an ode to the gears of innovation which take flight from the heart of Dayton.Strong in adversity, innovative with diversity and sky’s the limit as we reach for the stars and possibilities of what the future holds. This flag encapsulates the heart of Dayton and inspires each of us to work hard, build community, seek adventure, and fly the flag of Dayton proudly.” (Contributed Photo/Dayton Daily News)

Cecelia Freeman submission. Explanation of flag design: “Dayton; a city of innovation, grit, unity in community, and a dynamic river system full of history which provides recreation and fun for all. This flag displays a river in white which also represents the highs and lows that Dayton has gone through and come out stronger.Soaring in the blue sky and above the lowest part of the river on the flag, the 10-point stars shine bright like gems as they rise with grit and resilience through the hardships. The 3-stars represent diversity- convey through size difference-and unity of community. The 10-points of the star bring an ode to the gears of innovation which take flight from the heart of Dayton.Strong in adversity, innovative with diversity and sky’s the limit as we reach for the stars and possibilities of what the future holds. This flag encapsulates the heart of Dayton and inspires each of us to work hard, build community, seek adventure, and fly the flag of Dayton proudly.” (Contributed Photo/Dayton Daily News)

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Cecelia Freeman submission. Explanation of flag design: “Dayton; a city of innovation, grit, unity in community, and a dynamic river system full of history which provides recreation and fun for all. This flag displays a river in white which also represents the highs and lows that Dayton has gone through and come out stronger.Soaring in the blue sky and above the lowest part of the river on the flag, the 10-point stars shine bright like gems as they rise with grit and resilience through the hardships. The 3-stars represent diversity- convey through size difference-and unity of community. The 10-points of the star bring an ode to the gears of innovation which take flight from the heart of Dayton.Strong in adversity, innovative with diversity and sky’s the limit as we reach for the stars and possibilities of what the future holds. This flag encapsulates the heart of Dayton and inspires each of us to work hard, build community, seek adventure, and fly the flag of Dayton proudly.” (Contributed Photo/Dayton Daily News)

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A City of Dayton flag finalist. CONTRIBUTED

A City of Dayton flag finalist. CONTRIBUTED

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A City of Dayton flag finalist. CONTRIBUTED

The city hired a design firm Catapult Creative to take the submissions, see what people liked about them, and come up with a final flag design that incorporated the ideas.

Raichel Jenkins, director of client relations with Catapult, said they wanted to make the flag something people would want to display and that was accessible to display.

“By making it available to everyone, we’re allowing everyone to take part in what we hope is a big source of pride for the city,” Jenkins said.

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