Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Rochester Tries for a Flag

Yet another Minnesota city is trying to design a new city flag. This time, according to the Star Tribune, it's Rochester. This is their current flag:

Which is dreadful. What's with the geese? From what I've read, it sounds as though a lot of them congregate in the area, but the flag makes it look as though they're leaving. The dated "high tech" typeface has even less of an excuse.

So the city has created — what else? — a contest, called the Rochester Flag Project, to design a new flag, and so far these are the three top citizen vote-getters:

A goose, designed by a Canadian.

Another goose, designed by a German.

A really ugly R in red, white, and blue, designed by someone from Rochester.

These are the three top vote-getters from a panel of trained flag designers:

I can see why this one won. Rochester, home of the Mayo Clinic, is known for medicine. The background cross represents the crossroads that Rochester has been historically, and the two shades of blue "represent the Zumbro River and the companies that call Rochester home -- like IBM (Think Blue), that help to drive the city’s modern economy." That just about makes sense, and it also has the advantage of looking like a flag. It's designed by someone from Minneapolis.

This one, designed by a Rochesterian, also looks like a flag, but it's more generic, as is the explanation: "Rochester is a Minnesota star city. Blue: A symbol for industrial/manufacturing. Red: A symbol for education/performing arts [what?]. White: A symbol for medical/faith." No. None of that.

But it's better than this one, designed by someone from Japan. The designer reads way too much into the elements: the "heart and open white hand, in caring unity, symbolize the relationship of the Rochester health care system to the city’s residents and visitors. The 10-point star combines 5-point stars representing Minnesota and the United States and symbolizes Rochester’s importance to both of them. The medium-blue background symbolizes the sky and waters of our great state." Other than the blue representing sky and water... no. The red heart on the white jagged burst looks like a heart attack more than anything else. The white hand symbolizes "stop!" or, even worse, brings to mind the mark of the Central American death squads (remember those?).

 Go with the blue and white medical cross, Rochester. No geese, no hearts.


Maura said...

Hi! do you still have the signs from the bless this mess post? are they for sale?

Michael Leddy said...

I felt something like a sigh of relief when I hit the blue and white design.

I’m not sure if you’ve linked to it before: 99% Invisible hasa feature on bad flags.