The American Marketing Association - Lincoln and Lincoln Young Professionals Group enthusiastically present to you the results of our contest to redesign a new City of Lincoln flag.
The origin of this project is a viral TED Talk, Why City Flags are the Worst Designed Thing You’ve Never Noticed. A version of this talk, focused on Lincoln’s flag, was presented at Ignite Lincoln in 2019 and received a standing ovation from the crowd.
Guided by these speeches, resources from the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA), and extensive research into the processes used by the more than 50 cities who changed their flags in response to the TED talk, we recruited a diverse panel of eight judges, raised nearly $20,000 in support from local businesses, and launched the ReFlag Lincoln contest. The contest and $1000 prize were promoted widely across the city, using billboards, newspaper ads, social media ads, and booths at the farmers market and other community events. The response was overwhelming, with over 190 designs submitted, and the panel painstakingly evaluated each design against criteria outlined by NAVA: Keep it simple; Use meaningful symbols; Use 2 to 3 basic colors; No lettering or seals; Be distinctive.
After narrowing the submissions down to four finalists, we released the designs for community feedback and received more than 6,400 comments. A clear “fan favorite” emerged, and after reviewing and discussing each piece of feedback, the panel came to the same conclusion.
The winning design, entitled All Roads Lead to Lincoln, was created by Ed Mejia, a local art director and graphic designer who immigrated here from El Salvador. His design was inspired by the sight of Lincoln’s skyline emerging on the otherwise flat horizon as he first drove into town. He drew inspiration from art deco architecture and native peoples’ artwork displayed inside the capitol building and used intersecting lines to capture the interconnection of technology, agriculture, and commerce that have drawn people to Lincoln throughout our past, present, and into the future. The beacon featured in the center of the design symbolizes the hope and optimism that the people of Lincoln are known for, as well as our reputation as a safe harbor for those seeking to make our community their home.
Some of the recognizable imagery implied by the lines are a sunrise, the state capitol building, and an aerial view of the traditional center of town (the star located at 13th and O Street). The teal green is a nod to Lincoln’s verdant tapestry of parks, trails, trees, and green spaces – and the home of the Arbor Day Foundation. The deep blue represents groundwater aquifers, an abundant and valuable natural resource significant to our region. The warm gold represents a bright future and a place where all are warmly welcomed.