City of Kent seeks submissions for a new flag design

The 1975 Kent flag. Photo by Cody Topp

Kent City Council is looking to update the city’s little-known 1975 city flag, which was designed by a Holden Elementary student and seldom seen since.

To get more buy-in, they’re seeking submissions from the public, hoping for “a new design that better expresses the essence of Kent.”

“A number of designs will be chosen from those submitted and designers may be invited to collaborate on a final design,” according to the submission guidelines released last week.

The guidelines offer a list of “examples of good flags,” suggesting the aesthetic preferences of the newly formed City Flag Committee. Among them are Chicago, Amsterdam, Portland and Washington, D.C. — all bold flags with few colors, no text and memorable simplicity.

Notably absent are examples like Akron, Cleveland, Columbus and New York City, whose flags contain words, pictures and intricate symbols.

Designers “must have been born in, work in, or live in the City of Kent,” according to the guidelines.

The 1975 flag was adopted by council resolution with the following description: “The background shall be blue symbolizing the Cuyahoga River, trimmed in gold, the City color; within the borders of the flag shall be a tree symbolizing the tree city motto and a lamp of knowledge symbolizing the presence and contributions of our school system and Kent State University.”

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Ben Wolford is the editor and publisher of The Portager.

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