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Thread: A "New" Flag for Edmonton

  1. #1
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    Default A "New" Flag for Edmonton

    As everyone here should know, this is Edmonton's current flag:



    It consists of Edmonton's entire coat of arms and an additional scroll with the name of the city, on a white Canadian pale (broad vertical stripe) on a blue field.

    The North American Vexillological Association espouses these 5 Basic Principles of Flag Design:

    1. Keep It Simple
    2. Use Meaningful Symbolism
    3. Use 2–3 Basic Colors
    4. No Lettering or Seals
    5. Be Distinctive or Be Related
    This fails most of those tests. The design is visually complicated (1); uses many colours (3); contains lettering (4); and is visually indistinct, as the unique part of the flag (the coat of arms) occupies a relatively small portion of its area (5).

    Aside from that, the colours of the field and pale are either redundant (blue for the river, which is already represented by the wavy fess (horizontal line) on the shield) or generic (white for peace).

    Since the middle ages, it has been common practice for armigerous (bearing coats of arms) people and organizations to simply copy the design of the shield and place it directly on a banner, and this is what I suggest for Edmonton.

    This is Edmonton's heraldic banner:



    Our shield carries highly representative symbols of our city: The sun, for our many hours of sunshine; the winged wheel, for our leadership in aviation and industry; the wheat garb (sheaf), for our role in farming; and the aforementioned wavy fess which represents the river. Unfortunately, these icons are lost in the visual busyness of the current flag, especially when actually flying.

    Note how this design is simple (1), prominently features symbols of Edmonton (2), uses only a few colours (3), contains no lettering (4), and is visually bold and unique (5).

    So, what does everyone think?
    Last edited by Alx_xlA; 24-05-2014 at 11:32 PM.

  2. #2

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    Normally I would be pooh-poohing all over this kind of thing, but this is okay. The pride in our history is still there, it's still us.

    TBPH though, I don't know if I need the white stripe on the horizon. I realise that's directly taken from the shield, but somehow it makes it look like a flag divided from a banner or something.
    Let's make Edmonton better.

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    "The sun, for our many hours of sunshine"

    I find it faintly absurd, this movement to give Edmonton a sunny reputation.

    Yes yes, I know. Statistically, Edmonton gets a relatively high amount of sunshine per year. But no one who spends an average year in the city, and is then asked to describe the weather, is going to use the word "sunny". Because that word has connotations that go beyond just how much sunshine a place gets.

    When a bumper-sticker says "Sunny Florida", it doesn't just mean that Florida records X units of sunshine per year. It means that Florida is a place where you can lie on the beach and work on your tan all year long. But, in Edmonton, the sun can be shining on days when you need to wear three layers of clothing and there is enough snow on the ground for skiing at Connors Hill.

    If the sun was already in the banner, and you wanna put it in the flag, go ahead. But don't imagine for a second that it's going to influence anyone's perception of Edmonton's climate.
    Last edited by overoceans; 25-05-2014 at 03:56 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee View Post
    Normally I would be pooh-poohing all over this kind of thing, but this is okay. The pride in our history is still there, it's still us.

    TBPH though, I don't know if I need the white stripe on the horizon. I realise that's directly taken from the shield, but somehow it makes it look like a flag divided from a banner or something.
    Yeah, it makes it look like two separate enetities. Personally, I could just go with eliminating the "sunny" top third entirely.

    Despite my criticism in the last post, I could get behind the idea of changing the flag. The current effort, ie. having the flag be basically a copy of the crest, seems rather lazy.

    But one thing that I do like about the crest is that it also manages to incorporate the university and the historical fur trade into its design, but those things are lost in the flag proposal.

    Also, maybe try to get some green in there, to represent the river valley?
    Last edited by overoceans; 25-05-2014 at 03:57 AM.

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    Nope. Please no, what next? Change the name from Edmonton to whatever it is you prefer? I've lived here long and like the flag as is. Nuts. Disrespect. Grrrr.

  6. #6

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    We have a thread on the Edmonton flag already:


    http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum...=Edmonton+flag

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    We have a thread on the Edmonton flag already:


    http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum...=Edmonton+flag
    That thread is a survey and a query for thoughts on the current flag - and strangely it's under "rants".

  8. #8

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    This thread is for thoughts on this proposal, no problems.

    Overoceans:

    Sorry, have to disagree, regardless the temperature, sunny is sunny. All of us have met ex-Vancouverites who extoll the sunshine in winter, it's a perfectly significant part of the nature of Edmonton.

    Also as the OP intoned, this is simply taking our shield rather than the entire coat of arms, but you're sortof going into changing what the shield has always been.


    Drumbones:

    It's still the same shield it always was. It's not so much a fundamental change as a magnification.
    Let's make Edmonton better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee View Post
    This thread is for thoughts on this proposal, no problems.

    Overoceans:

    Sorry, have to disagree, regardless the temperature, sunny is sunny. All of us have met ex-Vancouverites who extoll the sunshine in winter, it's a perfectly significant part of the nature of Edmonton.
    Yeah, people from a city famous for its rainfall notice the winter sun in Edmonton. I'm guessing they also notice the winter snow.

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    It's not an attractive flag at all. The colors are awful, the figures are not very sharp and what is the woman supposed to represent. It looks like it came from a catalogue called 'Design your own Flag'. It's very cheap and generic looking. It needs a complete overhaul.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    what is the woman supposed to represent.
    It's Athena, the goddess of wisdom. She represents the university.

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    I fail to see why there should be no lettering. What's the point of a flag if who/where/what it's supposed to represent is not written on it. Surely the powers that be don't think people are going to recognize the flag as belonging to Edmonton if Edmonton is not written on it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    I fail to see why there should be no lettering. What's the point of a flag if who/where/what it's supposed to represent is not written on it. Surely the powers that be don't think people are going to recognize the flag as belonging to Edmonton if Edmonton is not written on it.
    NAVA has a good explanation of the principle on their website. Simply put, the purpose of a flag is to be distinguishable while flying, i.e. at a distance and in motion, and letters are hard to distinguish in either condition. As well, they make flags more expensive to manufacture.

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    Why can't some things stay the same (it will)

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    Look at it this way, if the NDP come to power Thomas Mulcair will be nice to us, he's on our flag!

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    ^ LOL

    Seriously though...this is a truly wasted exercise IMO. There are far more important civic identity issues to tackle....far greater improvments to be made...than engaging in jingoistic flag changing exercises. This is not even good enough of a task to be a pacifier or distraction from the real issues...

    it is a civic flag...which means little to nothing to many people in Edmonton...and won't change their perceptions or desire to be here one iota...

    let's focus on some real wins...not window dressing...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    I fail to see why there should be no lettering. What's the point of a flag if who/where/what it's supposed to represent is not written on it. Surely the powers that be don't think people are going to recognize the flag as belonging to Edmonton if Edmonton is not written on it.
    You;re right. Here's an example of a much better flag.


  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alx_xlA View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    I fail to see why there should be no lettering. What's the point of a flag if who/where/what it's supposed to represent is not written on it. Surely the powers that be don't think people are going to recognize the flag as belonging to Edmonton if Edmonton is not written on it.
    NAVA has a good explanation of the principle on their website. Simply put, the purpose of a flag is to be distinguishable while flying, i.e. at a distance and in motion, and letters are hard to distinguish in either condition. As well, they make flags more expensive to manufacture.
    That vexillological society must be stuck for things to do. I fail to see what bearing a civic flag has on anything. The flag design sounds like a Seinfeld episode, much to do about nothing. I can see a national flag being flown for many reasons but a civic one, not so much. If NAVA thinks most people will recognize another cities flag just by looking at the cheesy graphics then they are dreaming in technocolor. I can honestly say I have never heard anyone say to me "hey, what to you think of our old civic flag flying there' It's not on anyone's radar.
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    I prefer the present flag. (The Edmonton Flag)

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee View Post
    TBPH though, I don't know if I need the white stripe on the horizon. I realise that's directly taken from the shield, but somehow it makes it look like a flag divided from a banner or something.
    Although it appears somewhat jarring on a computer screen where it can bleed into the light background of the forum, I believe it would look much less conspicuous when actually on a flag.

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
    ^ LOL

    Seriously though...this is a truly wasted exercise IMO. There are far more important civic identity issues to tackle....far greater improvments to be made...than engaging in jingoistic flag changing exercises. This is not even good enough of a task to be a pacifier or distraction from the real issues...

    it is a civic flag...which means little to nothing to many people in Edmonton...and won't change their perceptions or desire to be here one iota...

    let's focus on some real wins...not window dressing...
    First of all, I don't appreciate your calling my suggestion "jingoistic". That sort of personal attack is completely uncalled-for here.

    Second, just because there might be "far more important civic identity issues to tackle" doesn't prevent us from considering this one. If we can only focus on the very most important issue at any given moment, why are we filling potholes when there are children starving in Africa?

    Third, I disagree that a flag "means little or nothing" to the citizenry. Consider Calgary, where their striking flag is flown almost everywhere you turn. Even the best-designed flag can't increase civic pride, but it certainly makes it easier to show it.

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    I hardly think Calgary's flag is 'striking'. It looks like a big C wrapped around some winged feminine hygiene product with a beer can floating on top, or maybe a small can of paint, could be a candle. Who knows, who cares. On a scale of 0 to 10 the civic flag issue is about a minus 25 on the radar.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alx_xlA View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
    ^ LOL

    Seriously though...this is a truly wasted exercise IMO. There are far more important civic identity issues to tackle....far greater improvments to be made...than engaging in jingoistic flag changing exercises. This is not even good enough of a task to be a pacifier or distraction from the real issues...

    it is a civic flag...which means little to nothing to many people in Edmonton...and won't change their perceptions or desire to be here one iota...

    let's focus on some real wins...not window dressing...
    First of all, I don't appreciate your calling my suggestion "jingoistic". That sort of personal attack is completely uncalled-for here.

    Second, just because there might be "far more important civic identity issues to tackle" doesn't prevent us from considering this one. If we can only focus on the very most important issue at any given moment, why are we filling potholes when there are children starving in Africa?

    Third, I disagree that a flag "means little or nothing" to the citizenry. Consider Calgary, where their striking flag is flown almost everywhere you turn. Even the best-designed flag can't increase civic pride, but it certainly makes it easier to show it.


    Ok Alx_xlA, if you seriously think the word jingoistic is in any way, shape, or form a personal attack, I am sorry you feel that insecurely about your position. I just simply see a much larger picture than a flag that really is not an issue for me, or pretty much anyone else I speak to. If you seriously want to change the flag, fill your boots and help yourself to happiness.

    However, I feel that civic flags are akin to civic credos and civic slogans in the minds of most of the citizenry. They mean even less to those that don't live here. How many people know our brand, know we have one, or even care?

    I could give you a long list of civic level issues that take precedence instead of resorting to the hyperbole and ridiculous juxtaposition of potholes to Africa. Many of these deliverables and issues lead directly to the pride one will need to feel, and will need to have, to even want to fly a civic flag in the first place. They lead directly to the desire to even want to open the conversation on its design! I can tell you that after this most recent exposure to City Council and Administration in one of my endeavours, I have very little desire to fly a city flag regardless of what it looks like. Maybe we should start by seriously looking at how we engage our citizens...treating their opinions with respect instead of having to "tolerate" talking to them...or not setting them up for failure...or ensuring that you speak honestly and truthfully...

    ...doubt my wrath on the current engagement style of this area? I'll gladly sit with you and explain. I'd rather not write a word wall.

    As for Calgary's flag, I humbly suggest you ask Calgarians. Most think it is a Stampede flag and confuse it with the CS ones. Others don't care. Outside Caglary, it means nothing. The Stetson is Texas, so the C could be Corpus Christi to the outsider.

    No, our issues are deeper rooted and more grounded in our need to grow up and stop looking to slogans, jargon, glossies, and yes, even a flag to get us to the next level. It will take delivery, execution, and inclusion...and above all...dealings in honesty, integrity, and transparency. Flags...are window dressing.

    ...I'm sorry if that offends you.

    If you need an explanation, I do have that word wall queued up...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post


    I hardly think Calgary's flag is 'striking'. It looks like a big C wrapped around some winged feminine hygiene product with a beer can floating on top, or maybe a small can of paint, could be a candle. Who knows, who cares. On a scale of 0 to 10 the civic flag issue is about a minus 25 on the radar.
    Looks like a flag for Arby's.

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    Not sure that I see a need to change the current flag.

    BUT, if it was anything close to the logo (and I do mean logo and not flag) that Calgary flies, I'd be screaming for changes.

    Ugh: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...gary&FORM=IGRE
    ... gobsmacked

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  26. #26

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    ^Calgary flag makes Arby's logo a beautiful thing.
    I don't get the notion that the name of the place the flag is supposed to represent should not be put on the flag. Why would city brass think that a few pictures on a piece of cloth would make it possible for people to recognize the area it was supposed to represent. If you took our civic flag to Nam Phong do they honestly think people are going to know it's Edmonton. What an exercise in futility. If I wanted to get behind a flag just fly a flag with Edmonton written on it.
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    flags rely on visually discrete identification and recognition and association...

    canada's flag is readily identifiable and readily associated with canada world wide. that's why it "works" without the name on it.

    outside of the city of edmonton, any edmonton flag is not likely to be readily identified or associated with our city even with our name on it (as opposed to being associated with our counterpart cities in the uk and the us and elsewhere). without our name on it, the odds of it being recognized and associated probably go from not likely to nil very quickly.

    even inside the city of edmonton, when was the last time - outside perhaps of city hall or a city ceremony or epcor tower - there was even an Edmonton flag present, never mind recognized?

    and for perspective, who outside of a resident would recognize the city of new york's flag (which doesn't carry a name but does include the city's unnamed seal); los angeles' flag (which does include the city's name if you're close enough to read it); or chicago's (which carries no identifiable marks or name)? or for that matter - and even closer to home - who would recognize vancouver's flag or toronto's flag?

    we have a flag. we could fly it more. whether it meets nava's espoused basic principles of flag design matters not - those basic principles date back to battlefields before soldiers could read and to a time when individuals were exposed to a handful of flags in their lifetimes, not the thousands that exist today...

    we need to proud of our city. what our actual flag looks like is largely irrelevant but we have one and there's no real need to abandon what symbolism and history - however shortlived - it may have for one that would have less.
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    It may look better if they got rid of the supporters and the ribbons (with Edmonton and the motto). Alberta's flag would look pretty bad if you had the whole coat of arms on it instead of just the shield. If a total redo is done, you can look at cities like Regina, Quebec City, and Halifax that have pretty unique, but visually appealing flags.

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    With full recognition of what 'makes a good flag' and having heard that fantastic presentation/evaluation about our flag at the Winspear, I am not one to believe that a more recognized flag for a CITY is worth much if anything. I quite like ours and we have plenty of other things to 'work on' be them identity, impression or psychological.
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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but did they tweak the flag in the 80s or 90s? I think they did some minor changes on the coat of arms, as well the bands changed from Blue, White, Purple to the current look.

    I agree this shouldn't become a great flag debate, but I think a full arms is a bit too busy for a flag, so just a simple cleanup of it would help.

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    ^I'm not sure of the year but I believe this was the old coat of arms:



    http://reg.gg.ca/heraldry/pub-reg/Pr...rms_edmont.jpg

    Not sure why the city made the whole thing "low res". Could've just added the "Edmonton" banner.

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    ^ Older perhaps, but that's definitely not version one.
    Let's make Edmonton better.

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    Here is a B/W pic I found online of the original design from the 60s.
    http://spacing.ca/edmonton/wp-conten...ca-ab-ed-o.jpg

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    I would say that this could be the original. Can't really take away anything else and still call it a city seal.



    http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/bibl...hy/5059/9.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by TerryH View Post
    I would say that this could be the original. Can't really take away anything else and still call it a city seal.



    http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/bibl...hy/5059/9.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmart81 View Post
    Here is a B/W pic I found online of the original design from the 60s.
    http://spacing.ca/edmonton/wp-conten...ca-ab-ed-o.jpg
    Bingo. It's notorious that in the original version, the guy appeared to be clutching his crotch.

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    In honour of the TED talk on this topic, I thought I would give this thread a bump.
    $2.00 $2.25 $2.50 $2.75 $2.85 $3.00 $3.20 $3.25

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    In the new again on CBC radio this morning.

    Do we even need a flag anymore. How much money do these discussions use up when they reach an official level, for something no one cares about and would do just fine without.

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    You know that big ugly balloon the C of E keeps trying to float now and again but it gets dragged around instead. Well, if they think that's a good idea why not just take a picture of it then print it on silk/cotton call it Edmonton's flag and fly it.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

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