June 14 is Flag Day.
The day marks the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on June 14, 1777, thanks to a resolution of the Second Continental Congress. It also is a day the United States Army celebrates their birthday.
Flags have been a topic of discussion this week with an ask for Sioux Falls city councilors by a group of enthusiasts to adopt the unofficial Sioux Falls flag.
The story behind the flag started in April 2014, when leading design voice Roman Mars visited Sioux Falls to participate in the creative and community event, OTA ’14. During his presentation, he noted Sioux Falls was one of three major cities that didn’t have a city flag.
As stated on the Sioux Falls flag website, the “creative community led the charge,” and the Committee to Establish a Suitable Flying Banner for the City of Sioux Falls (CESFBCSF) was brought together to move the initiative forward.
OTA, AIGA South Dakota, and the Sioux Falls Design Center organized a contest encouraging submissions for the flag, and 90 designs worked through a two-stage paneled jury voting process and had over 3,000 votes from the public.
The winning design was by designer Max Rabkin and has been a topic of discussion since. Dubbed by many as the “people’s flag,” the Sioux Falls flag can be seen flowing outside of businesses and homes, and the artwork (open to the public) has been used to create things like pins, prints, t-shirts, and even tattoos.
“It’s my hope that on Flag Day 2019, you’ll see a Sioux Falls flag proudly displayed at City Hall,” stated Mayor Paul TenHaken.
A renewed push for the Sioux Falls flag occurred May 2018 when 605 Magazine’s director of sales and marketing John Snyder sent a letter to Mayor Paul TenHaken, hoping the new Mayor would back the effort.
“That seemed to be a big hole in a resume for such a forward thinking city like Sioux Falls,” said Snyder.
The letter was signed by news director of Argus Leader Media Cory Myers, Downtown Sioux Falls president Joe Batcheller, city councilor Christine Erickson, owner of Exposure Gallery & Studios Zach DeBoer, and director of the Sioux Falls Design Center Kellen Boice.
That also helped lead the presentation to city council Tuesday, June 12.
City councilors raised several questions during the informational meeting, including intellectual property rights, as the People’s Flag Committee presented their case of the adoption.
“Flags shouldn’t belong to anybody, but should represent everybody,” said DeBoer, who is also a flag committee member.
Committee members are working with Erickson and Pat Starr in drafting a resolution that includes provisions that make it possible for city buildings to fly Rabkin’s design if they choose to do so, and to make it an official city flag of Sioux Falls.
As it’s Flag Day 2018, TenHaken made several statements on the current city flag situation.
“I loved coming to work today and seeing the U.S. flags lining Minnesota Avenue,” said Mayor TenHaken.
“Flags instill an immense amount of pride for country, state, and city, and I’m glad to see our discussion moving forward on the adoption of an official city flag for Sioux Falls.”
For more information, visit siouxfallsflag.com.
The central design represents the Falls in blue and white. Flowing up, it is meant to represent upwards progression as a city.
The blue coloring and sun are an homage to the South Dakota flag, and is meant to showcase the importance of the state.
The “pinkish red” recalls the Sioux quartzite quarried in Sioux Falls.
The combination of red, white, and blue recalls the flag of the United States.