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Is Columbus Ready for a New Flag?

Mackenna Swing Mackenna Swing Is Columbus Ready for a New Flag?Paul Nini's proposed redesign for the Columbus flag.
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A flag is meant to be seen clearly from long distances away as it flies back and forth against the wind. The current Columbus flag is not visible at all at a distance, due to the small and detailed imagery and wording. The current flag also celebrates a controversial historical figure and includes a religious symbol, both questionable choices for government flags in 2015.

Ohio State University design professor Paul Nini has a solution.


The current Columbus flag.

Nini redesigned the flag after feeling inspiration at a design conference in New Orleans, which encouraged designers to use their art to effective positive change back home in their communities. Nini’s proposed design is simple and geometric; incorporating the bold coloring of red, yellow, blue, and white, all of which are currently on the flag.

The blue semi-circle represents the Scioto River, which is directly west of Broad Street and High Street. The red and white stripes to the right correspond with the seven members of city council. The star in the middle suggests the mayor’s office, or the executive branch of city government. The yellow blocking represents fields, and the left of the circle represents the peninsula of Franklinton, where the original settlement of Columbus was founded.

Well-designed flags can a way to unify a city, by providing something that is promoted and seen everywhere you go. On a recent trip to Chicago, Nini noticed how frequently he saw the Chicago flag flying; it was everywhere. It was unifying, no matter what part of the city he was in. The creation of a new flag could be widely embraced and useful for a city as large as Columbus.

Nini is interested in working on public design projects for the city, and believes that graphic design should contribute positive things to our society. He believes the updated flag design is a unique way for the city to “represent itself as the vibrant and progressive community it is.”

For more information, or to sign the petition for the new flag, visit change.org.

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