Designing a New City Flag
Public Engagement Process
Cedar Rapids began the process of redesigning the City Flag in June 2019 with the goal of creating a beautiful flag that represents Cedar Rapids as a community. In order to create a flag that incorporates citizen input and ideas, the City offered multiple opportunities for citizen engagement. We appreciate the design ideas and input of all of the residents, former residents and others invested in our community!
Final designs were created by local volunteer designers using feedback received through the public input process. The only costs associated with this project totaled $687.73 for public engagement materials.
Public engagement for the new Cedar Rapids flag was guided by the advice of the North American Vexillological Association:
- Keep It Simple: A flag should be so simple it can be drawn from memory.
- Use Meaningful Symbolism: A flag’s images, colors, or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes.
- Use 2-3 Basic Colors: Limit the number of colors on the flag to three which contrast well and come from the standard color set.
- No Lettering or Seals: Never use writing of any kind or an organization’s seal.
- Be Distinctive or Related: Avoid duplicating other flags, but you can use similarities to show connections.
Flag designs are made up of colors, shapes, and symbols:
Colors should reflect the region & represent or convey emotion
Portland, Oregon’s flag has green for forest, blue for rivers, and yellow for wheat.
Shapes such as stars and stripes are very common in flag design.
Lawrence, Massachusetts’ flag has white stripes to represent the Spicket, Merrimack, and Shawsheen Rivers and their respective courses.
Symbols can be anything related to a city. Just keep it simple and easy to recognize!
Phoenix, Arizona’s flag has a phoenix, the mythological bird that is the official logo of Phoenix.
June – November 2019
Community Engagement and idea submission
We asked residents to submit their design input and ideas. More than 200 residents and friends shared ideas — including design concepts, colors, shapes, and symbols — they believe best represent Cedar Rapids. View the flag design worksheet. Common themes among the data were compiled to create a packet for professional designers.
November 2019 – February 2020
Professional designers create concept designs
Professional designers used the community input to create a series of several conceptual designs. These designs were assessed and ranked by representatives from the North American Vexillological Association.
March 2020 – June 2021
Design revisions & project on hold
What was to be a year-long public process was put on hold midway through because of the pandemic and then the derecho response. During this time, revisions were made to the concept designs following feedback from members of the North American Vexillological Association.
Committee selects final designs
The revised concept designs were again reviewed and ranked by members of the North American Vexillological Association as well as a local committee. Final adjustments were made to the flags based on this feedback.
Community ranks final designs
The top four final designs were presented to the community for ranked-choice voting.
September 18, 2021
The final flag will be unveiled on September 18, 2021 during the downtown farmers market. Join us at the Cedar Rapids Downtown Public Library at 10 a.m. to see the final flag, selected by Cedar Rapids residents.
Flag Design Input
More than 200 residents and friends shared ideas — including design concepts, colors, shapes, and symbols — they believe best represent Cedar Rapids. The following is a compilation of the common themes among the data.