SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- A four-year-long effort to replace Springfield’s flag is in its final stretch.
During a City Council study session on Tuesday, the city decided it will put the issue to a vote next year.
The city’s current flag was adopted in 1938, according to Cora Scott, the City of Springfield’s Director of Public Relations and Civic Engagement. “[It] was a school competition, art competition, so students submitted ideas and I believe it was the current elected officials at the time who voted and then selected the flag,” Scott said during Tuesday’s presentation.
In 2017, a group called the Springfield Identity Project, made up of local business professionals, created a new 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
The light and dark blue flag quickly gained popularity. It’s since been displayed on t-shirts, coffee mugs, stickers, and downtown murals.
On Tuesday, Scott presented the results of a survey done in August asking for public feedback on whether residents would prefer a new flag.
Of the roughly 4,000 residents who completed the survey, 77% said they were not proud of the city’s current flag, while more than half said they were in favor of the new design.
City leaders ultimately decided not to put the issue on the ballot for a public vote. Instead, city council will vote on a bill to adopt the new flag in early 2022. If approved, the council says it would likely keep the flag open-sourced, meaning the city will not trademark it.
“Those assets are made available to anyone and everyone to make items with,” said Scott. “I’m not that concerned about the fact that anyone can copy it and use it out there. It just kind of identifies us,” added councilman Abe McGull.
Many in the room Tuesday stressed the importance of ensuring everyone has a say in the process, with the group choosing to hold various opportunities for folks to submit their opinion over the next several weeks.
Members who offered their opinion on the new design were all in favor of the potential change.
“I do feel the spirit of that with this Identity Project flag,” said Councilwoman Heather Hardinger. “It tells a story, and I think as we continue to grow as a community, that’s going to be even more important.”
The first reading of the bill will take place during the City Council meeting on December 13th.
City Council is expected to vote on the measure in January 2022 in order to provide more time for residents to express their opinions.
OzarksFirst will have more information on how to submit your input when it’s released. For more information on the new design, visit the Springfield Identity Project website.