Last week, Cedar Park officials unfurled its new city flag. It marked the end of an eight-month community effort to find –hopefully- a lasting symbol for the Austin suburb.
Mayor Matt Powell hatched the idea of designing a city flag after listening to at TED Talk by Roman Mars and left the design up to his constituents.
“We received so many great and thoughtful submissions,” said Mayor Matt Powell in a statement. “We saw fantastic artwork, we read incredible descriptions, but most importantly, we found out in so many instances what Cedar Park really means to all of you.”
Out of more than 250 entries, the Cedar Park City Council selected Cedar Park resident Catherine Van Arnam’s design.
The flag blue and green rectangles represent area creeks and parks. The rectangles are split by a white line with four white Xs. It’s meant to look like barbed wire, an homage one of the city's first industries: cedar post fencing. The four Xs represent the four names the area has had over time: Running Brushy, Buttercup, Brueggerhoff, and currently, Cedar Park.
The flag satisfies many tenets of vexillogy – the basic principles of flag design:
- Keep it simple – so simple a child should be able to draw it from memory
- Use meaningful symbolism
- Use two to three basic colors
- No lettering or seals
- Be distinctive or be related. You don’t want to copy someone else’s flag, but you can show that you’re connected to something bigger
Austin’s flag had a similar origin. The city commissioned a national design contest in 1916, with the winning design coming from San Francisco artist Ray Coyle. Coyle’s design was essentially what’s now the city’s emblem on a white sheet and, while the city formally adopted it in 1919, it didn’t display the flag publicly until 1976.
While it’s commonly displayed now, some think it may be time for a revamp of the municipal flag.
The new Cedar Park flag begins flying this week at all city facilities and the HEB Center.