PITTSBURG, Kan. — The Imagine Pittsburg 2030 Committee and the city’s Downtown Advisory Board have announced finalists for a city flag design, and community members can now vote until June 13 on one of three designs.
Sydney Anselmi, chair of the Downtown Advisory Board, said at Tuesday’s city commission meeting that according to the board’s research, the city has never had its own flag. She cited examples including Wichita, Joplin, and Chicago as examples of cities that benefit from having a city flag.
“You may say we have more important things to worry about than a city flag,” Anselmi said. “To that Ted Kaye, a vexillologist — which is a flag expert, pretty exciting — would say if you have a great flag you have a banner to rally under to face those more important things.”
Having a great city flag creates more love for the place itself, Anselmi said, “so it’s this positive feedback loop between great symbolism of a city and civic pride.”
The city put out a call to artists in January requesting designs for a Pittsburg flag. Submissions had to use no more than three colors, have symbolic meaning, and fit the correct dimensions. After submissions closed at the end of March, entries were assessed by the Downtown Advisory Board’s Marketing Committee and narrowed down to a final six.
The final six designs were then judged by a panel of local artists, marketing professionals and community leaders, which determined the final three designs to be announced for public voting.
The designs include one with a gold star marking Pittsburg’s location on a map of Kansas and thirteen rays representing thirteen civilians who died attempting to escape Confederate soldiers in 1864. The colors used in the design include crimson and gold to represent Pittsburg State University and its impact on the city, and navy blue to represent the mining industry and its role in allowing the city to flourish.
Another design is a yellow flag that includes the alchemy symbol for zinc as well as diagonal lines that represent railroad lines that started the city and “can also have a secondary representation of the many strip pits within the Pittsburg area as a result of the mining industry.”
The third design is a white flag with a crimson and gold “P” on it that also includes a pickaxe, wheat, and Balkans banner symbolism. “The pickaxe pays homage to our mining history,” according to an explanation of the design. “The wheat represents Kansas and our farming traditions.” The Balkans banner represents the community’s heritage of immigration from the Balkans region and the colors represent PSU.
Members of the public can vote for their favorite designs at www.imaginepittsburg2030.com/city-flag-contest
The winning design is planned to be unveiled at 620 Day, the local area code holiday on June 20 that the city began celebrating last year.