With unfortunate zeal and unnecessary haste, Chattanooga City Council on Tuesday, Aug. 28, voted 6-3 to approve a new city flag rushed to approval by Mayor Ron Littlefield and “designed” by former City Councilman David Crockett.
In his refusal to allow appropriate debate and open the process to community comment, Littlefield again showed an alarming lack of instinct for public sentiment. Despite a passionate plea from Tianna Buckwaiter of the Company Lab, who spoke on behalf of citizens against the new flag, we are now inflicted with a drab, ugly city flag that represents no element of Chattanooga’s proud renaissance.
Flying in the face of the status quo, The Pulse quickly created a gallery of citizen-designed flags that arose in the aftermath of the flag kerfuffle, each of which are vast improvements on Crockett’s aged “design,” likely crafted on a 1994-era PC in Harvard Graphics.
The flag fight picked up further steam when Pulse contributors Jason Dunn and Dave “Castlevania” Castañeda joined local artist David Ruiz of 423 Bragging Rights and PPRWRK in launching the NoogaFlags Tumblr site (noogaflags.tumblr.com) soliciting alternative designs in an effort to rescind the new flag and replace it with colors more symbolic of modern Chattanooga.
“Our mission is simple,” the site’s founders state, “The new flag for Chattanooga sucks. We want to change this—so we are having an open call for people to design their own flags. The best flags that are submitted to this blog will be wheatpasted all over the city courtesy of PPRWRK/423 Bragging Rights. Let’s show this town what truly represents the Gig City.”
Among those already submitted include Noble “Sandy the Flower Man” Cumming’s design (above) featuring elements present in many of the recently submitted designs—the Volkswagen and Lookouts logos—as well as stick-figure drawing of himself and a laptop accompanied by the word “Zing!” in a nod to Chattanooga’s gigabit Internet speed capability. Other submissions feature Moon Pies, the Choo Choo, Samuel L. Jackson, Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer, Coca-Cola, dinosaurs and City Councilman Andrae McGary.
All are superior to the new flag adopted by city council last week and we look forward to viewing them around town, thanks to Ruiz’s talent with wheatpaste murals. Perhaps then the flag fight will get its proper debate, discussion and design process—but we’re not holding our breath.