Call to Artists: The People's Flag

La Crosse Group Seeks New Flag Design

intern by Amanda Koplien, photos by Lee Neves

Will Kratt presents The People's Flag project
Will Kratt presents The People's Flag project

 La Crosse Group Seeks New City Flag Design

From the peak of Grandad Bluff to the ripples of the Mississippi River, La Crosse, Wisconsin is a welcoming community with a wealth of culture to offer. A collaboration of local groups have come together on a project to create a symbol to represent the affection that citizens share for this city which they are calling “People’s Flag of La Crosse”.

The collaboration of Artspire, Pump House Regional Arts Center, School District of La Crosse, FUN Group, and Downtown Mainstreet, Inc. has initiated a “Call to Artists” to design a flag which the group hopes will be displayed around the city. “It’s something that’s meant to represent the community,” stated Brian Fukuda, group member. Citizens of all ages and professions are encouraged to design a flag that expresses the values that the city holds.

Current City of La Crosse Flag
Current City of La Crosse Flag

Though this is not meant to replace the current City of La Crosse flag, it will be an additional symbol that members of the community will be able to rally around and take pride in its symbolism.

Mayor Tim Kabat of La Crosse is on board as well stating, “I’m looking forward to the project. I’m hoping there’s a lot of community engagement.” And so far, there has been.

The group has connected with the School District of La Crosse on this project as a follow up to last year’s successful Compassion Project (in partnership with Artspire). Some students in art classes will have the opportunity to learn about the symbolism that goes into creating flags and may design 6” x 10” flags of their own to represent their family, school, neighborhood, or city. “We felt this was a great connection with the schools… we’ve received a request for 500 mini flags for the schools already,” added Eva Marie Restel, Chairperson of Artspire. This summer during the Artspire event, these designs will line the sidewalk and river view near the Weber Center for the Performing Arts to illustrate the different ways people envision their city.

Members of the community will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite design through online polling to be considered during the ultimate vote by members of the committee.

Entries may be submitted in a digital file format or may be a photo of a flag they created as long as the entry meets the submission requirements. The winning flag designer will be awarded a sponsored cash prize as well as recognition at the Artspire event on June 10. Visit the program website by clicking here to learn more about the project and how to submit a design of your own.

Online voting begins April 10. Visit Artspire this summer when the final design will be revealed and the citizens of La Crosse will be able to admire this collective symbol of a place that they all call home.

Not feeling confident in your artistic abilities? Watch the Ted Talk the group is directing people to watch, focusing on the simplicity of flag design. Maybe you could be the one to leave a lasting mark on the city of La Crosse.