Monday, May 16, 2016

Flying Milwaukee's Flag, Part V: The Five Finalists

And now, the five finalists in the People's Flag of Milwaukee design competition.

I have to admit that these are a little underwhelming. I could easily replace each of these with several from the list of semifinalists. But let's take a look at the five designs individually.

Three Rivers (Cameron Pothier)
Milwaukee’s three rivers flow from the land into the lake, with a large disc representing the city at the confluence and our brewing history.
This one's pretty good, although I wonder if the green and blue are similar enough hues to blend together at a distance. I would have perhaps used a bright kelly green and darker navy to separate them.

The “M” Star (DeChazier Stokes-Johnson)
Four “M”s connect to form a cream-colored star representing Milwaukee on the blue lake, its Native American roots, unity, and signifying the city’s bright future.
This one is a bit too corporate. Combining four "M"s to create a star is clever, but I'd expect to find this symbol on hotel stationery. It's a logo, not a flag. Color scheme is great, though.

Golden Arrow (Chanya Hughes)
Milwaukee’s past, present, and future, moving in a positive direction, symbolized through its rivers, brewing history, and the lake, with white echoing the art museum.
This is by far the best of the five, and the only one really deserving of inclusion. I like the symbolism and the color scheme, and breaking up the colors with white bars really make them more vibrant.

Sunrise Over the Lake (Robert Lenz)
The sun rising over Lake Michigan symbolizes a new day. The blue bars in its reflections represent the city’s three rivers and founders.
I do like this design, but the colors don't work for me. The overall effect is drab and moody; a more royal blue would improve this one greatly.

Cream City Star (Jon Grider)
The six points of the star symbolize the three original sections of the city and its three rivers and representing Milwaukee as the “Cream City” and the largest in Wisconsin.
This one's just inexcusable. The basic design is sound enough, but the distinctive six-pointed star is a direct lift from Chicago's flag. Milwaukee has enough of a little-brother complex towards its larger neighbor to the south without enshrining that on a copycat flag.

And there you have it. The People's Flag of Milwaukee will be chosen from one of those five. We'll see if anything comes of it, but if anything other than Chanya Hughes's "Golden Arrow" design is the ultimate winner I'm kind of hoping this contest goes the route of the last two attempts to replace Milwaukee's flag. We'll scrap it and start another conversation in twenty years, as has been the city's modus operandi.

No comments:

Post a Comment