Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret Morning News
Deeda Seed, spokeswoman for Mayor Rocky Anderson, looks over entries for the city's flag contest at the Salt Lake City-County Building.

There were few new symbols but lots of cool designs as Salt Lake City wrapped up its flag designing contest Tuesday.

All told, the city received 20 entries — some from as far away as Spain — and will still take entries that arrive postmarked by Tuesday.

While Mayor Rocky Anderson had hoped for entries that reflected the city's "growing diversity," most entries depicted familiar themes like seagulls, wagon wheels, beehives, mountains, temples, cityscapes and sego lilies.

"Our history becomes richer with each passing year and, although pioneer images are still a strong piece of that history, they are not the only image that can be used to depict the growing diversity and vibrancy of our city," Anderson said when launching the contest in September.

But while void of many new symbols, many of the flags were visually appealing.

One flag, from Vincent Gonzales of West Jordan, symbolically bridged Mormon pioneers with Utah's native peoples. The flag included a design of the state flower, the sego lily, which Native Americans taught early pioneers to use as a food source.

"The sego lily also tells the history of the valley when Native Americans came to collect the onion-like root of the plant and how they taught the first settlers to gather the root to keep them from starving in the first years of their arrival," Gonzales wrote in his submission.

At least one flag tried to incorporate pioneer heritage with shades of the city's growing diversity.

Douglas Sligting, from Salt Lake City, submitted a design that includes a large seagull flying toward a distant star, underscored by several strong stripes on the flag's bottom.

"The stripes speak to our many layers of cultural diversity, creating a solid foundation to build upon," Sligting wrote.

Still another design pointed out that Salt Lake City has always been sort of a melting pot, hence its nickname, "the crossroads of the West."

Salt Lake City's Phoenix Roberts used a compass to depict the crossroads theme with each of the four points ending in different symbols — a snowflake, a fall leaf, a flower and the sun.

"Backing the logo is an adaptation of the traditional compass star, calling to mind Salt Lake City's nickname "the crossroads of the West."

Anderson's spokeswoman, Deeda Seed, said the city is looking for a more modern design to replace its current white flag, which was created in the '60s and has small, pioneer designs. The North American Vexillological Association recently rated Salt Lake City's current flag 99th out of 150 municipal flags.

A six-member panel including two Colonial Flag employees will choose the winner, which will need to be approved by Anderson and the City Council.

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