Dayton seeks more city flag designs: Make it simple, distinct and a symbol of strength

A group working to create a new city of Dayton flag has received about 50 design ideas but has extended the submission deadline in hopes of receiving more.

The city’s flag is being redesigned now because it is a symbol of the people of Dayton and ideally it should represent triumph and tragedy, said Maggie Schaller, a city of Dayton legislative aide who has helped lead the project.

In a year with so much adversity, redesigning the flag is an opportunity to creatively display Dayton’s grit, resiliency, strength and innovation, Schaller said.

“They show who a people has been and who they want to be and what they want to be represented by,” she said.

Anyone can submit flag designs but submissions must follow certain criteria, including selected themes and colors. The deadline to submit has been extended by one week to Dec. 7.

MORE: Mayor wants to create new Dayton flag; You can help create the new one

Dayton’s original flag was created in 1917 by an assistant art teacher and featured reddish stripes and a white stripe in the middle containing a Wright model flyer, according to city records.

The current flag was designed 1958 as part of a citywide contest. It has “Dayton” written down the left side and a globe and the Kittyhawk plane at the center of a gear on the right.

Dayton’s flag breaks important rules of good flag design by including lettering and having cluttered iconography, officials said.

City flags should be so simple that children can draw them from memory, and they should be so distinct they can be easily recognized from a distance, Schaller said.

A steering committee has determined that Dayton’s flag should follow four themes: flight (innovation), gem (grit and resilience), rivers and unity in diversity.

Flag designs should have no more than four colors, and green and blue are important, since they come from Dayton-area logos. White can used as a contrast color.

A steering committee will select 10 design finalists that city officials and stakeholders will whittle down to a list of three. Residents will then vote to help determine the winner.

Many cities across the country have bad flag designs and are taking steps like Dayton is to improve them, said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

“I am excited to see what folks have been doing,” she said. “I hope everyone submits.”

People can visit this website to submit designs.

MORE: Why is Dayton called the Gem City? And the stories behind 9 other Ohio nicknames

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