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If we run this up a flagpole, will you salute it?

Sault Ste. Marie City Council will be asked next week to designate this design as the official city flag. It was chosen from 25 conceptual designs.
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220116NewCityFlag
New city flag design uses the city colours of blue and gold, as well as the Sault's Naturally Gifted emblem.

Lips will be flapping at the civic centre Monday night as Sault Ste. Marie city councillors are asked to approve this new city flag.

All of the Sault's finest graphic designers and vexillological experts were in on the project, including Councillors Matthew Shoemaker, Susan Myers and Judy Hupponen; Ian McMillan from Tourism Sault Ste. Marie; city corporate affairs officer Lori Ballstadt; deputy city clerk Rachel Tyczinski and Kelly Buller from public works and transportation's sign department. 

The new flag was chosen from among more than 25 conceptual designs.

No one at the civic centre knows exactly when the city adopted its old flag.

The former design, featuring the city's coat of arms on a blue background, is believed to be at least 55 years old.

Council voted to retool the flag after a new coat of arms was adopted last year.

The Joint Commission on Vexillographic Principles, created in 2014 by the North American Vexillological Association and the Flag Institute of the United Kingdom, recommends that flags use as few colours as possible to ensure simple, bold design.

Most designers take that to mean two colours, maybe three, and no gradients.

Always generous to a fault, Sault officials have blessed our proposed flag with a veritable explosion of hues.

"Way too many colours to count. Someone seriously made that flag?" enthused one professional designer consulted by SooToday. 

"I see at least seven. Is this the final design?" said another.

An informal focus group assembled by SooToday used terms like "clip art" "angry bird" "masked woodpecker" and "purple boobies" to describe the centre device, which is actually an upcycled version of the Sault's 'Naturally Gifted' emblem.

That logo shows the city surrounded by purple mountains, Lake Superior (dark blue) and Lake Huron (lighter blue).

"The maple leaf is emblematic of our identity as an international border city and the colour of the maple leaf represents the majestic landscapes found in our district," said Ward 3 Councillor Matthew Shoemaker, who chaired the municipal flag committee.

"The flowing design of the proposed flag is intended to mirror the flow of the St. Marys River," Shoemaker said.

"Unlike the existing flag, the new flag will be more immediately recognizable as a symbol of our city, and will have meaning beyond that which is conveyed by the existing flag."

A resolution on the agenda for Monday's City Council meeting calls for all Saultites to be encouraged to "fly the flag of Sault Ste. Marie with pride within our community and beyond."

Monday's City Council meeting will be livestreamed on Local 2 beginning at 4:30 p.m.

To e-mail the mayor and all city councillors about this issue, please click here 

 



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David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans six decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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