Five flag designs remain in the People's Flag of Milwaukee's design contest, which began taking submissions for flags to replace the current city banner last year.
The organization released the five finalists on Saturday, and is now asking for public input. People can rate each of the five finalists on a scale of 0-10 on the People's Flag website. The highest-rated flag will be submitted to the city for consideration.
Once the design is in the city's hands, the Common Council can choose to adopt the flag to replace the current design, adopt the flag to fly beside the current design or keep the current design.
The People's Flag partnered with the nonprofit Greater Together Milwaukee to host design workshops at schools and after school clubs around the city over the past year to encourage poor, especially minority, students to consider a career in design. The competition received more than 1,000 design submissions. Most were submitted by Milwaukeeans, but a few were mailed in by foreign flag aficionados in Australia and Europe.
Here are the five finalists:
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Each design submission also included a brief explanation of the symbolism of each flag.
"Golden Arrow" has multiple meanings attached to its elements. The aqua, gold and blue arrows represent both the city's past, present and future, as well as its rivers (aqua), brewing history (gold) and Lake Michigan (blue). The arrows are moving forward, in a positive direction. The white chevrons allude to the Milwaukee Art Museum.
"Cream City Star" splits the city into green, representing its natural beauty, and blue, representing Lake Michigan. The two sides are joined by a cream-colored star, meant to represent the city of Milwaukee. The star's six points symbolize Milwaukee's three original neighborhoods — Juneau Town, Kilbourn Town and Walker's Point — and its three rivers.
"Sunrise Over the Lake" depicts the sun rising over Lake Michigan to symbolize "a new day." The blue bars beneath the white semi-circle represent Milwaukee's three rivers and three founders — Byron Kilbourn, Solomon Juneau and George Walker.
"'M' Star" is designed using four 'M's to form a cream-colored star that represents Milwaukee, as well as the state of Wisconsin, on a blue lake. The flag is also meant to evoke the state's Native American roots while symbolizing the city's bright future.
"Three Rivers" depicts the city's three rivers — The Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic — flowing through a yellow circle that represents the city and its brewing history into Lake Michigan.
The winning entry will be announced on June 14.