Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - The checkered flag will soon be waving in the long process of selecting a new Rochester city flag.

The Rochester Flag Project Committee Monday announced the winners of the contest with a total of seven finalists in two categories. Two are from other countries, one of the finalists (from Rochester, NY) actually had two of the seven final selections and only one of the final designs was submitted by a Rochester, MN resident.

Here are the winners:

The online public vote winner is Joe Uessem of Dusseldorf, Germany with the ‘Hope, Support, Love’ flag:

The second place winner of the public vote is the ‘Corn Tower’ flag by Layne Noser of Wasioja, MN.  

The third place winner of the public vote is the ‘Blue Goose’ design by Leo Ariemma of Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada.

The Judges’ Board first place vote winner is the ‘Past, Present and Future’ flag by Matt Levar of Rochester, NY. The second place winner for the Judges’ Board is another flag by Matt Levar, his ‘Snowflakes’ design, also with a past, present and future theme.

There is a tie for the third place winner for the Judges’ Board vote.  

Brandon Hundt of Minneapolis, MN won for his ‘Crossroads of Care’ entry:
Donald L. Buske of Rochester, MN also won third place for his ‘Star City’ design.

The Rochester Flag Project Committee is now finalizing recommendations for a new flag adoption to the Rochester City Council.  

The Rochester Flag Project has had 2 contest rounds.  Both Round 1 and Round 2 had an online vote on all entries, as well as a review by a panel of between 8-10 citizen judges, the Judges’ Board.   The judges were trained in flag design principles by expert Lee Herold of Herold Flags & Flagpoles in Rochester. There were 55 volunteer entries in Round 1 and 119 entries in Round 2.  In both rounds, both the public and the judges chose first, second, and third place winners. These final 12 entries were again submitted to the public and the judges, resulting again in a first through third place winners for each.

Lee Herold on the Final Round of the Flag Project vote:  “I am proud of the judges’ deliberations as well as the public participation and selections. Rochester is an internationally recognized city and it needs symbols that reflect its unique place in the world. Drab and boring will not do.  I would also say that almost all of the contest entries were well-designed and creative and would make excellent flags. It was difficult to choose the very best. Thanks to all for their efforts.”

The contest was first announced in February 2017.  The Rochester Flag Project is following in the footsteps of many cities around the country that are updating their flags and reconnecting with urbanism and good design.  The present Rochester flag dates from 1980, and calls for a new one have been in the works for several years now. The project goal is to tap into the substantial brainpower and talent in the greater Rochester community and beyond, to create a truly great flag design.  Rochester will then have a city flag that will be flown broadly and used widely by the Rochester community as a very important and familiar civic symbol.


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