Mayor narrows contenders for city flag design

Ozaukee Press staff

Flags were on Port Washington Mayor Ted Neitzke’s mind when the Common Council met recently.

But not just any flags. Neitzke was considering designs for the Port Washington city flag — something he floated in June after receiving a letter from middle school student Ben Laurin proposing the city adopt a flag.

Laurin is a flag enthusiast, his mother Jennifer said, adding he makes up his own flags just for fun.

But he noticed many cities have flags and was curious whether Port had one so he contacted the mayor to ask, enclosing his own design as an option if the city didn’t have an official banner.

“I think this would be perfect because this is what Port means to me,” he told his mother.

Laurin’s design shows a calm blue Lake Michigan with a bright yellow sun rising, with the city’s distinctive lighthouse and breakwater on one side.

Neitzke said that since introducing Laurin’s idea, he received about 20 design submissions from five people, including Laurin.

The one criteria he had for a flag, Neitzke said, was that it represents Port as a sunrise community for the optimism residents have.

But before unveiling the designs, Neitzke gave aldermen a primer on flags, courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association.

Flags, he noted, should be simple with meaningful symbolism, using two or three basic colors, no lettering or seals. They should also be distinctive. Avoid duplicating other flags, but use similarities to show connections.

He showed Milwaukee’s official flag, a busy banner that violates several of those rules, and the so-called People’s Flag, a much simpler banner that was never formally adopted.

Neitzke told aldermen he trimmed the list of finalists for the city flag and plans to put them on the city website, where residents can vote for their favorites, beginning sometime next week.

He’s already talked to several local business owners about creating not just flags but T-shirts and hats with the logo on them, Neitzke said, adding they need an approved design by early October to ensure they’re ready for sale by the holidays.

  The flags all represent the city’s lakefront in differing ways, and two incorporate the lighthouse.

A design by Dan Dudzinski represents the sunrise over the lakefront looking north, with a russet red-brown representing the clay in the bluffs and tan representing beach sand.

Nick Logan’s design also has the sun and waterfront, but with an anchor representing the life on the lakefront.

Stacy Peters’ design incorporates waves, the lighthouse and seven rays of the sun that also represent the city’s seven hills.


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