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Survey says: Majority prefer new Springfield flag design

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With thousands of participants, a survey from the city of Springfield last month found a majority of respondents favor a new flag design.

Of those surveyed Aug. 4-18, 72% said they supported the Springfield Identity Project's proposed city flag that features a compass crown representing the city’s history as a crossroads, according to the results provided by city spokesperson Cora Scott. The results – 4,350 total responses, with 3,493 completed surveys – were unveiled yesterday at Springfield City Council's Community Involvement Committee meeting.

The current city flag was favored by 19.4% of respondents, and roughly 8.5% said they would be interested in other design options. City officials showed resident-submitted alternatives at the meeting, including some that are similar to Springfield Identity Project's proposal and at least one variation of the existing flag.

The Springfield Identity Project's proposed flag has three stars representing the city’s connection with nature, entrepreneurial spirit and Ozarks culture, and the white stripe embodies Route 66 and the Ozarks plateau, according to past reporting. It has blue stripes on the top and bottom.

The current flag, adopted in 1938, had the words "Springfield Missouri" along with red, white and blue stripes and four white stars. The red bar symbolizes cooperation, the white bar symbolizes achievements and the blue bar represents civic pride, according to past reporting. The white stars symbolize the city's achievements in religion, home, education and industry.

Scott said the council committee did not take action to vote on the results at a future meeting. The presentation indicated council could move to adopt the new flag directly or send the matter to a public vote, though a potential timeline on those processes was not stated.

The presentation also included the results of Springfield Business Journal’s Aug. 5-11 poll, titled “Which Springfield flag would you prefer?” The poll found 49% of 1,349 respondents favored the current city flag. Of those surveyed by SBJ, 37% supported the Springfield Identity project proposal and 14% wanted a new design.

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frostbyte@mchsi.com

.The SBJ survey leans to businesses and I would argue the City survey leans towards young, downtown frequenters that were driven to the survey by social media. Neither one of these surveys is representative of the whole population. I'm sure the City can't spend money on a true, randomized survey with any kind of confidence level. I would suggest that the community be allowed to vote on the various designs at many locations, including new submissions, over a six to 12-month period to give everyone a chance to have their voice heard. The SIP option comes from a small group of individuals from the community with no input from clergy, military, law enforcement, education, community non-profits, city leadership, large businesses, and the general public. The Springfield Business Journal has published many articles on their and other communities efforts in the last few years and the cities who were successful in developing and adopting a new city flag followed a much different path of community inclusion.

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