The current flag of Columbus is not quite a travesty, but it’s pretty bad. It’s a fairly boring tricolor with a ton of crap in the middle. The Santa Maria in in there, inside an American shield, a semi circle of some plants and a semi circle of stars surround an eagle holding the American flag on supporting what looks like the rotunda of the Statehouse. That’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t really mean anything!
This actually brings up an interesting point: The American flag is idenitfible within the Columbus flag. There’s no way the Columbus flag would be identifiable within some other flag. (Perhaps Beechwold has its own flag and includes the Columbus flag inside of it, with the American flag inside the Columbus flag.) That’s not good.
“Columbus, Ohio,” is spelled out in a gothic font, no doubt a nod to the German heritage of some Columbusites. I always think writing on flags is a bad idea. Flags should be understood through symbols, they shouldn’t need explanation. But if a flag has to have writing, I think a sans serif font is best of legibility from a distance.
A tricolor is a very traditional basis for a flag. Using non-primary colors pulls this design out of the 18th century and into the modern era while still retaining a classic background, just in the way that Columbus is modern city built on the traditions of the past.
The grey field represents techonology. The blue field represents our bountiful water resources. The green field represents the verdant patches of our city, our agricultural heritage and our commitment to the green movement.
I struggled for a while about what to put at the center of the flag – Columbus doesn’t have a single defining icon. To me, Columbus is a city in which the good life is accesible to a lot of people. Our cost of living is low. Our quality of life is high. There are still opportunties for people who work hard, and people can create their own opportunities as well. Nothing speaks to the idea of a sweet life and affordable luxuries better than ice cream. And we happen to be a mecca of great ice cream, to boot. And ice cream is never going out of style. Ever. This flag is unique and identifiable. And also, the triangle is the strongest shape. So there you go.