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City hopes Modesto will rally around official flag contest

The seal of the city of Modesto is posted outside the 11th Street entrance to Tenth Street Plaza. City officials hope also to have an official city flag. With the City Council’s approval, a contest to design Modesto’s first official city flag will run Oct. 1 through Dec. 30. Adults and children would have separate competitions, with prizes in each division.
The seal of the city of Modesto is posted outside the 11th Street entrance to Tenth Street Plaza. City officials hope also to have an official city flag. With the City Council’s approval, a contest to design Modesto’s first official city flag will run Oct. 1 through Dec. 30. Adults and children would have separate competitions, with prizes in each division. Modesto Bee file

As Modesto grapples with crime, poverty and a host of other vexing social problems, city leaders believe they have a positive proposal the community will rally around – a contest to design the city’s first official flag.

Modesto officials believe the flag will serve as a symbol that will showcase the city’s “history, beauty and great sense of community,” according to a city report.

“One of the major problems we have is (some) people bash Modesto too much, and we need more civic pride,” Community and Economic Development Director Cindy Birdsill said. The report also says a city flag would be timely as Modesto prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2020.

The City Council’s Healthy Economy Committee endorsed the city flag design contest this past week and forwarded it to the full council for approval. The council is expected to take up this matter Sept. 13.

With the council’s approval, the contest would run Oct. 1 through Dec. 30. It would be open to all city residents except those who work for the city and their immediate families. Members of the city’s Culture Commission also are not eligible. The contest is the commission’s idea and it will take part in the judging.

There will be contests for adults and children. The adult winner gets $500 while student winners receive tickets to a local show or similar prizes. The report says the contest will cost the city about $2,000, but city spokeswoman Amy Vickery said Mayor Ted Brandvold asked that the city raise the money for the contest from the community.

The Healthy Economy Committee report about the contest and the proposed entry form and contest rules are available at http://bit.ly/2bphlSs. Click on agenda item No. 2 and then the links on the right side for the report and other documents.

Modesto also recommends residents look at a TED talk on city flags and how to design one that will inspire awe and not guffaws at http://bit.ly/1H6rc2s. The talk is by Roman Mars, the host of a design and architecture radio show. Mars says in his TED talk that while there is something powerful and unifying about well-designed flags, there also are an awful lot of badly designed city flags.

Kevin Valine: 209-578-2316

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