Columbia Narrows Down Official Flag Contest to Three

Oct 22, 2015

 The City of Columbia will soon have its first official city flag. The city started a contest to design the first flag last year, and the 84 entries have been narrowed down to 3 finalists. Sarah Dresser, the Office of Cultural Affairs program specialist, said the public is invited to vote on the flags to help make the decision.

“The city thought it was a good opportunity to revamp and create a first official flag and use the creativity of other citizens to create the design,” Dresser said. She said applicants were encouraged to look at other flags for inspiration for their design and believes each designer put lots of thought to form an impactful message in a simple design.

Michael Bauer, a senior at MU, is one of the three design finalists. Despite his lack of artistic skills, Bauer decided to give it a shot. After seeing Chicago’s flag with four stars representing four important events, he developed an architectural idea twist of his own.

“If I could do something like that for Columbia that would be a pretty powerful design,” Bauer said. “So I incorporated three different stars with three different colors for Columbia’s flag that represented the three colleges in the city to represent the city’s educational history.”

The city has flown a simple flag for a couple decades, but it was created in a rush for a flag exchange with a sister city in Japan, and was never named the original flag. This contest is intended to give Columbia a flag that strongly represents what the city stands for and gives a deeper meaning.

Each design of the three final flags takes on a different meaning. You can see the flags and read the full descriptions about them on

The final design will be chosen in January 2016 by city council after taking into consideration comments and votes made by the public.