Does Cleveland Need A New Flag?

Atop of Cleveland’s City Hall is a US Flag, but flying right in front are two identical flags that are also red, white and blue. Those are Cleveland's own flags.

But you won't find this symbol flying over many places beyond city hall.

In 2015, Roman Mars, the host of a podcast called 99% Invisible hosted a Ted Talk about city flags. In the Ted Talk, he explains that a well-designed flag follows five basic rules.

  1. Keep it simple.
  2. Use meaningful symbolism.
  3. Use 2-3 basic colors.
  4. No lettering or seals.
  5. Be distinctive.

Cleveland’s flag follows some of those rules, but it certainly breaks some too.

The seal in the center of the flag features a cog to represent industry, and oars to represent Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River. The green wreath is a nod to forestry.

The small details are easy to miss when the flag flies high in the sky.

Perhaps a new flag design would encourage more Clevelanders to fly a local flag.

There are Facebook groups advocating for a new Cleveland flag.

In 2015, Gregory Kula started an online petition to get others on board.

The petition didn’t get much attention, but Kula stands by the idea that the city would benefit from a new flag.

"I think Cleveland has an identity, so we deserve a flag that shows that identity to the rest of the country and to the rest of the world,” Kula said.

There are some Clevelanders who love and adore the flag as is.

Terrell Pruitt hangs the Cleveland Flag outside of his East Side home.

Pruitt was born and raised in Cleveland and has been a city employee for more than two decades.

He thinks more Clevelanders would embrace the flag if they were informed that it even exists.

“We didn’t learn about it in school,” Pruitt said. “It’s a hidden gem, right? I had to discover it on my own.”

The flagship beers at Market Garden Brewery on Cleveland’s West Side are called “Progress” and “Prosperity” after the two words printed on the bottom of the Cleveland flag.

Market Garden owner Sam McNulty does love the flag, but wouldn’t mind considering a new design.

“If we want to improve upon something that’s already doing a great job, let’s do it,” McNulty said. “Our flag can progress and evolve just like our city has.”

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