Council Will Now Make Flag Decision
Will city ever have new flag? Council punted issue to arts board and board punted it back.
Advocates of a new Milwaukee flag will have to wait. The Common Council’s Steering & Rules Committee accepted a report from the Milwaukee Arts Board Thursday afternoon, but not did act on it.
The board report recommends the city adopt a new flag, but instead of immediately adopting the People’s Flag of Milwaukee, suggests issuing a request for proposals to administer a new flag process.
The committee spent less than a half hour discussing the report before council president Ashanti Hamilton formed an informal committee to decide how to proceed.
Alderman Mark Borkowski found himself on Hamilton’s four-person committee after advocating for a timeline be put on any action. “Even if it’s a year and a half from now, people will want to have some closure,” said the alderman. Borkowski created the requirement that the arts board complete its recommendations by the end of 2018.
Kovac, who also sits on the arts board, said the board found many positives with the People’s Flag process. “Where there were sins they were more of omission than commission,” said the alderman. Still the board recommended a consultant administer a more inclusive process. “If you’re going to glibly summarize it, the council punted to the arts board and the arts board punted it back,” said Kovac
“I think this is one of several instances where the city is out of sync with what the people want,” said Rainey of the People’s Flag. He asked Hamilton if he could move today to have the flag formally adopted, but Hamilton cautioned that public notice requirements would negate any vote.
The current flag, which has been derided as the worst city flag in America, was created by then-Alderman Fred Steffan in 1954 by merging elements from a variety of design contest entries into a single flag.
The People’s Flag process, created by designer Steve Kodis, wasn’t formally adopted from the city at the outset, although both Council President Ashanti Hamilton and Mayor Tom Barrett attended and spoke at an event recognizing the finalists.
The winning flag from a new process could still wind up being Robert Lenz’s Sunrise over the Lake design that won the 2016 People’s Flag contest. “I think it’s important that we’re not excluding this flag. That could be the next flag for our city,” said Alderman and arts board member Michael Murphy in November.
The informal committee will meet to determine what comes next. Does the city issue an RFP? Does the council adopt the People’s Flag? Does it do nothing?
Whatever it decides, any further action will require a vote of the Common Council.
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More about the People's Flag of Milwaukee
- City Hall: Council Will Now Make Flag Decision - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 14th, 2019
- In Public: Does “People’s Flag” Need New Colors? - Tom Bamberger - Nov 19th, 2018
- City Hall: Arts Board Wants New City Flag Search - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 14th, 2018
- City Hall: How Long Will Flag Debate Last? - Jeramey Jannene - Oct 11th, 2018
- City Hall: Will City Adopt a New Flag? - Jeramey Jannene - Oct 2nd, 2018
- City Hall: Council Delays Flag Decision - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 19th, 2018
- City Hall: All Hail The “People’s Flag” - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 19th, 2018
- City Hall: Will People’s Flag Become Official Milwaukee Flag? - Jeramey Jannene - May 31st, 2018
- All Hail Milwaukee’s New City Flag - Laura Thompson - Jun 15th, 2016
- The Worst City Flag in America? - Michael Holloway - Oct 28th, 2015