Photo: Lindsey Jo Scott

How to make a good city flag

Five Principles of Good Flag Design

From Ted Kaye’s “Good Flag, Bad Flag” pamphlet, which spells out the five core principles of good flag design. 

  • Keep It Simple: The flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory.
  • Use Meaningful Symbolism: The flag’s images, colors, or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes.
  • Use 2-3 Basic Colors: Limit the number of colors on the flag to three, which contrast well and come from the standard color set.
  • No Lettering or Seals: Never use writing of any kind or an organization’s seal.
  • Be Distinctive or Be Related: Avoid duplicating other flags, but use similarities to show connections. 

Read more: Can a new city flag really make a difference in Akron?

Spark a movement with a spark

New city flags don’t design and adopt themselves. It takes effort by residents, artists, designers and elected officials. To do this well, Kaye says, we must answer these questions for ourselves: 

  • Do you believe Akron is a great city?
  • Does a great city deserve a great flag? 
  • Is our city flag a great flag? 
  • What are you going to do about it?
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