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Provo City
A rendering of one of two flag proposals for Provo. The bottom represents the lake, the middle is the mountain, and the upper is the sky. The flag proposals were scrapped after receiving feedback, and residents are invited to submit their own proposals from now through June 3.

PROVO — The flagpole at Provo City Hall hasn't flown a flag in a long time, and the city is hoping residents will help create a new one.

Over the past two years, Mayor John Curtis has tried to find a new design.

"Part of the process for us has been learning what makes a good flag,” Curtis said.

Provo city officials say a good design is important. Ten years ago, the city's flag was voted one of the ugliest in the United States by the North American Vexillological Association.

In a May 19 blog post, Curtis said the city had consulted vexillologists, experts on flags, from as far as away as England and narrowed their choices down to two similar designs. Residents were then invited to vote on the flags.

Both designs were reflective of Utah Lake, the mountains and the blue sky. One design included three stars, symbolic of life in Provo. Curtis said three elements that represent Utah are also in each design.

"One is our beautiful scenery and recreational opportunities; another is the quality of the people and friendliness you find here; and the third is our innovative spirit,” the mayor said. “So those three elements are tied in with the lake, the mountains and the sky.”

However, in a May 21 blog post, Provo changed its approach, inviting residents to send their own flag ideas. Designs and ideas submitted by June 3 will be compiled, shared with a group of citizens who will make recommendations and then shared on the mayor's blog for resident comment, according to the post.

The criteria for flag suggestions are as follows:

The flag has to be simple enough for a child to draw.

The flag must be "symbolically rich with references to the city"

The flag can't have more than a few simple colors

The flag can't have letters or a seal, and it must not look like every other flag

The flag can't be trendy, because that raises the risk of it quickly becoming dated