The panel of experts considering designs for Orlando’s new flag was unable to reach a final recommendation Wednesday but did eliminate two of the four remaining finalists.
flag made by johnin
Still in the running are a design depicting the Lake Eola fountain gushing into the sky, ringed by a rainbow reflected in the water to form a letter “O,” and a design centered on a circle against a blue backdrop, with six stars representing the city’s districts.
Orlando launched its monthslong hunt for a new city flag in February, inviting members of the public to submit hand-drawn designs on 3-by-5-inch cards.
This flag, depicting the Lake Eola fountain, received the most votes and comments on the city's website, but critics say it looks more like a whale, pineapple, or even a toilet plunger. (Handout)
Since then, the Flag Design Review Committee has met four times, narrowing the choices from hundreds to 10, and then, after a round of public voting, to four. Those designs were made into prototypes and toured the city for two weeks.
The committee had hoped to make a final choice Wednesday but remained divided. Instead, it will reconvene June 9.
After the panel issues its final recommendation, the City Council will have the final say on Orlando’s new flag.
Some on the committee argued the fountain-themed flag was the clear choice of the people. It finished first in public voting and drew the most comments to the city’s website.
“The fountain wasn’t my first choice, but this is the second time that the people spoke, and the people have chosen the fountain,” said Orlando Robles, a local art teacher. “I believe that we need to make sure that the voice of the people was heard.”
This design was praised by some on the flag committee for its strength, but some argue it is too generic, lacking a clear, evocative connection to Orlando. (Handout.)
Others, however, argued in favor of a more abstract, symbolic design, rather than depicting a specific real-world object such as the fountain or a swan depicted on one of the designs eliminated Wednesday.
“That bothers me a little bit, that they’re a thing that you can go over and kick over if you want to,” said Chad Miller of Code for Orlando.
Another problem remains for the fountain flag: Some still think it looks more like a whale, a pineapple, or even a toilet plunger.
"That particular fountain is just a mess,” said Kyle Shephard, the chief assistant city attorney. “It looks like several things other than a fountain, and that will always be the comment about that flag.”