SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Springfield City Council members voted Monday, January 10 to approve the city’s new flag design. The vote came after a long discussion from council members and comment from at least a dozen residents.
At the beginning of the discussion, Councilman Schilling made a motion to refer the bill to change the flag back to the community involvement committee. That motion did not pass.
Cora Scott, the director of Civic Engagement and Community Involvement recounted to the council the surveys and efforts to get public feedback the Community Involvement Committee did to gather public input about the flag’s design.
Mayor Ken McClure then made a motion that, if the new flag design passes, it would take effect on March 1. That motion passed.
15 people spoke in the public hearing on the flag, a mixture of voices before and against shared their opinion, but the majority of speakers were against the proposed blue and white flag.
Council members said they think the new flag symbolizes progress, change, and a chance to move forward. Other members said they support the new design because they are encouraged by the enthusiasm behind the blue and white flag. Councilwoman Romine said she believes the current flag has not been given the respect it deserves and she believes most people support the red, white, and blue flag.
Springfield Mayor Ken McClure echoed one of the public speakers in commending the discussion around the flag. One 19-year-old commenter suggested a display at the History Museum highlighting both flags. Many members of the Council agreed even if a new flag is adopted, there’s still a place for the original flag. Mayor McClure said one reason he proposed to change the date to adopt the new flag was to give Springfield time to properly honor the historic flag.
The new flag passed, with the amendment to adopt it on March 1.
A group called the Springfield Identity Project, made up of local business professionals and headed by John McQueary, made the new flag’s design.
The group says it symbolizes:
Three stars: Innovative Spirit, Connection with Nature, and Ozarks Culture
White area: the Ozark Plateau and Route 66
Compass: represents how Springfield has served as the crossroads of the nation
Crown: represents Springfield’s title as the Queen City
“I can tell you that Five Pound has sold merchandise to every possible demographic subset you could imagine,” said Ben Thomas, owner of Five Pound Apparel. “Every year we’ve added new products because there’s a clear demand for it … Strong brands are simple recognizable and unique. The proposed flag is all of those things.“
“I absolutely love what it stands for,” added Christopher Upton, another Springfield business owner. “It’s got the symbolism we need as a rallying point to get people together.”
Since council members began discussing the new flag design, there has been some resistance to change, including a Facebook group called “Leave Our Flag Alone.”
“This flag is a joke. It looks like a cartoon character,” said Lisa Meeks in opposition to the new design. “As people said, the blue was boring and dull … Our current flag needs to be revered, not removed, as it is nowhere in the City Council. It’s in the hall in the corner like a shamed child.”