In April 2014, leading design voice, Roman Mars, visited Sioux Falls to participate in an event focused on creativity and community, OTA14. During his presentation, he noted that only three major United States cities lack a city flag: Fargo, ND; Hilo, Hawaii; and Sioux Falls, SD. In the immediate aftermath of that event, we received dozens of emails and calls recommending that the creative community lead the charge to change that fact. We were eager to do so.
The CESFBCSF (Committee to Establish A Suitable Flying Banner for the City of Sioux Falls) was brought together to help move the flag initiative forward. This committee and the effort it lead reflects the true spirit of collaboration in our community. Three organizations, OTA , AIGA South Dakota and the Sioux Falls Design Center pooled time, talent and resources to organize and lead the process of education, engagement and community empowerment.
Over a two month period, CESFBCSF hosted a community town hall on the principles of flag design (led by a national flag expert), solicited and received over 90 flag designs, worked through a two-stage paneled jury voting process and engaged over 3,000 rated votes from the public at large.
The involvement of local citizens is quite noteworthy. Designers, from 5 years old to over 65 years old, contributed time and talent at the prospect of being part of something bigger. And, three thousand individuals set aside 30 to 60 minutes to review each design and seriously consider its representation of the present and future city of Sioux Falls. All of this work resulted in a gallery showing of the Top 6 flag designs and one clear cut ‘Best of Show’ and ‘People’s Choice’ winner.
The level of feedback we have received on a project of this sort is unprecedented. The public, the CESFBCSF committee, and the national panel of experts on flag design have all given the process and this specific flag their stamp of approval. By reaching out to the many varied city and civic groups and boards, we have made every effort to ensure that full due diligence and broad-based support was generated. We’re please to be at a point where only City Council approval remains.