Winter Park will be able to wave its own flag at next year’s Flag Day, after officially announcing on June 14 that it will open a contest to the public to design the city’s official banner.
The idea for a contest had originally been proposed by Commissioner Tom McMacken, who said it would be a great idea to get the residents involved in helping shape their city, rather than simply having city staff create a flag.
“I think this is a great idea … you get a whole wall of sketches from first-graders,” McMacken said. “It’s one of those harmless things that you do.”
Winter Park Communications Director Clarissa Howard said that the city would join hundreds of thousands of cities that already have their own flag.
“I was really kind of amazed at all the cities that have a flag,” Mayor Ken Bradley said.
Now that the contest is officially under way, he said he’s looking forward to seeing designs that draw on the city’s symbols.
“I want ones that feature more of the current city logo on there as it is, with the colors and the peacock,” Bradley said. “We obviously need a flag that represents all of our community, and we need to get all the artists and community together to take a stab at it.”
After an official vote to go forward with the plan at Monday’s City Commission meeting, the city rolled out its rules for the contest, which will end at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, July 4.
The art can be almost anything, Howard said, ranging from digital renderings to crayon drawings. Children’s submissions are encouraged, as long as the artist mentions their grade level.
Whomever the winning artist is, they’ll become a part of the city’s history and participate in the first official raising of the city flag, though that date has yet to be announced.
Self-proclaimed non-artist Commissioner Steven Leary said that the contest will give the city a chance to show a side of itself that non-residents may not know about.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for students, artists or whomever to create a flag that represents more of the uniqueness of the city,” he said. “We have a lot to tell the world about us. It shouldn’t just be pretty. It should tell the world something about us. There’s culture, there’s sophistication, there’s colleges, history, lakes, the golf course, there’s so much that can be shown.”
Flag contest rules: The contest is open to the public. One entry per person. Send in a full color 8.5” x 11” JPEG or PDF file for judging to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail to 401 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, FL 32789. The winner will need to provide a high-resolution 3’ x 5’ version of their design. Entries need to include name, phone number, email address, home address, grade level (if applicable) and a description of 100 words or less explaining the flag design. Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, July 4 to qualify.