Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) -The ongoing process of selecting a new official flag for the city of Rochester has taken another step forward - and three of the proposed designs came from other countries.

The Rochester Flag Project Committee was formed to find a replacement to the current flag that was adopted in 1980. The goal is to have a few flag flying over City Hall next year to coincide with Rochester’s 160th birthday. The committee decided to hold two rounds to narrow the list of designs. The first round is now complete and the committee has released the names of the winners from the 55 entries.

Public​ ​Vote:

First Place -      Leo Ariemma, Woodbridge, ON, Canada

Second Place - Joe Uessem, Dusseldorf, GDR

Third Place -   Jeff Bell, Rochester, MN

Judges’​ ​Board​ ​Vote:

First Place - Brandon Hundt, Minneapolis

Second Place - Donald L. Buske, Rochester

Third Place - Masao Okazaki, Tokyo

The second round of design entries begins Monday (Oct 16) and will run through Nov 17th.

The Judges’ Board includes: Melissa Amundsen, Emily Carson, Judith A. McIlmail, Nicole Nfonoyim-Hara, Kathy Nolan, Becca Stiles-Nogosek, Jessica Schmitt, Terry Throndson, and Bill Wiktor. E. Christine Schultze is the group facilitator.

For Round 2, entry forms are available around Rochester at information kiosks and through social media and online. Anyone can enter and submissions are anonymous while being judged. Designs can be emailed at, dropped off to Herold Flags and Flagpoles, or sent by mail. Entry forms and further contest details and deadlines can be found at here.

We asked how the process will continue and here is the response:

“All winners go on, not just first place winners.  These 6 go to Round 2.  Round 2 will have 6 winners as well, 3 judges, 3 private.

Then all of those winners and all of the entries from both rounds will be re-reviewed by the judges in a final Review Round.  The judges will then take the previous 12 winners and the best of that complete review and put them to a public vote.

This is how it will go in theory, the rub is, we may not have that perfect design.  In that case some designs may need tweaking before the public vote, and we would go back to the entrants and work with designers to improve things.  We reserve the right to change things and have Round 3 although we'd prefer to keep things moving.

We're hoping that 'one design' will jump out but all the more reason to have more entrants in Round 2!

It's a bit of a fluid process, but we plan to finalize the designs and have the public vote in the first quarter of 2018 and then present the winner to City Council for spring 2018.  They actually have to vote to adopt the new flag, so there is another hurdle there. Hope this makes sense of a somewhat fluid process.

We are trying for maximum participation and transparency, and also to make Rochester feel comfortable with the design process."

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