Boze: What should a new Seattle flag look like?
The Seattle Times recently asked readers what a new Seattle flag should look like.
I didn’t know the city had a flag, frankly. I had totally forgotten.
And then I saw the “city of goodwill” flag created by a friend of a city councilmember during the Goodwill Games in 1990, Seattle’s alternative to the Olympics. It’s got the seal of the city in the middle and a bunch of squiggly lines around it that looks like perhaps a diagram from your sex ed class in high school.
Readers sent in their submissions for a new Seattle flag, and some of them are pretty decent. But Mayor Jenny Durkan’s quote is the best contribution. In the article, she said, “The most beautiful city in America should have the most beautiful, well-designed city flag in America.”
That’s fine, but Seattle isn’t the most beautiful city in America anymore. I think it used to be the most beautiful city in America, and I think it could be the most beautiful city in America again, but it’s certainly not there right now.
Now, if I were to design a Seattle flag, I’d be one of the snarky people. I’d say that perhaps a needle, along with tarps and tents, belong on the flag. But I’d want it to be the temporary flag of Seattle, because I don’t want to condemn the city permanently. Hopefully one day those symbols of Seattle will all be in the city’s past.
All of that said, I look at it and think — why? Even if the city did have the most beautiful flag in the world, it wouldn’t matter, because I don’t know that anyone actually flies city flags. What does the New York City flag look like, or the Los Angeles city flag? I can say that in all the cities I’ve traveled to, I’ve never seen a city flag flying.