Every great city deserves a great flag.
In celebration of Reno’s 150th birthday and in an effort to better represent the New Reno, the Arts & Culture Commission is leading an effort to create an official municipal flag for the City of Reno. The project, based on community involvement, will both educate the public about flag design and Reno history and produce a meaningful symbol of civic pride.
The Arts & Culture Commission will be seeking designs for a new Reno flag. They see this as an opportunity to encourage civic engagement while also creating a symbol for our city that can be used to rally citizens and help define Reno’s identity. Have fun with it and show us your love for our city!
“A great city flag is something that represents the city to its people and its people to the world at large.” --Roman Mars, host and creator of 99% Invisible, a short radio show about design and architecture.
Why a City Flag?
The current community flag (above), created in 1959, is unofficial and was never adopted by the City of Reno. Today, Reno is a different city--full of new growth and creativity. It’s time for a new look that reflects the New Reno. The Arts & Culture Commission believes that we can unfurl a more inspiring and relevant flag, one that can be a true symbol of this community.
How to Participate
The Reno Flag Project is open to all. The Arts & Culture Commission is partnering with the Holland Project to host FREE community workshops on flag culture and design. Hands-on workshops will allow participants to experiment with design and even have the opportunity to turn their designs into a sewn fabric flag.
The first workshop was held on November 18th with a discussion on flag culture, context, and history; and look at the symbology, design, and graphic cues that make a great flag.There will be follow up workshops in January and February for participants to turn flag designs into hand-sewn fabric flags--stay tuned for dates and times!
You do not have to attend a workshop in order to submit a design. Designs can be submitted below according to the guidelines.
Entries are due by midnight on Friday, March 2, 2018.
Flag designs will be submitted according to the set design criteria put forth by the Arts & Culture Commission.
Create an original flag design as a 3x5-inch drawing or 3000x5000-pixel JPEG image or 3x5 foot sewn flag.
Entries will not be accepted if they use the following: gradient color, two sides, designs that are plagiarized or are not completely original artwork.
Multiple entries are allowed but must be submitted separately.
Entries may be submitted as a .JPG or .PDF at 300 ppi/resolution and no larger than 10MB.
PRINCIPLES OF GOOD FLAG DESIGN (from Good Flag, Bad Flag, compiled by Ted Kaye)
Keep it simple: A flag should be so simple that it can be drawn from memory.
Use Meaningful Symbolism: A flag’s images, colors, or patterns should be related to what it symbolizes.
Use 2-3 Basic Colors: Limit the number of colors on the flag so they contrast well and come from the standard color set.
No Lettering or Seals: Never use writing or a seal because both appear small and blurry at a distance and can’t be understood.
Be Distinctive or Related: Avoid duplicating other flags, but use similarities to show connections.
As a public art initiative, design entries become part of the public domain. No organization will profit from the flag design and the elements of the design will be available to the public to use and repurpose. The City Council may or may not officially adopt a flag from the entries.
For inspiration and to learn more about city flags, watch Roman Mars's Ted Talk:
There will be prizes awarded in the following amounts: $2,000 for First Place, $1,000 for Second Place, and $500 for Third Place. Designs will be reviewed by a special committee that consists of Arts & Culture Commissioners, citizens, and professionals in design and vexillology to select finalists. The top designs will be shared with the public for voting. The top finalist will be taken to City Council for possible official adoption.
Below are links resources to help you design your flag.
- Good Flag, Bad Flag compiled by Ted Kaye
- The Guiding Principles on Flag Design published by the Joint Commission on Vexillographic Principles
- Flag Worksheet with basic design principles and symbols
- Reno Flag One-Sheet with project background and guidelines
If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Megan Berner at 775-326-6333 or firstname.lastname@example.org.