Rivers and stars. An apple. Maybe some hills.
That’s what the finalists for the city flag include.
Fine and dandy. Sure. But also boring. B-O-R-I-N-G.
Herewith, as The Curmudgeon, I’d like to submit a few additional concepts to consider:
• 1. The beached riverboat. Manhattan exists because some settlers in 1855, trying to get farther up the Kansas River to about where Junction City now sits, hit a sandbar. After mucking around awhile, they evidently said something along the lines of, “Whelp, this is good enough, I guess,” and stayed here instead.
Wouldn’t that make a great civic motto, too? If we wanted it to sound fancy, we could translate it into Latin. “Not quite to the stars due to some technical difficulties.” Has a familiar ring.
• 2. A living room filled with knee-deep water. Some smartasses over by Garden Way a few years back put up signs: “Waterfront property!” Might as well extend that concept a little.
We live in a valley, where the Blue meets the Kansas, and Wildcat Creek feeds in. We keep flooding, nearly every year, and we’ve got this massive reservoir within a few inches of inundating some subdivisions.
• 3. A drunk redneck in a trailer. This was an actual picture that ran in the Mercury a few years back. I don’t know who it is, and it doesn’t matter if he was either drunk or a redneck. The boots, the cutoffs, the speakers — this is all you need to know about Country Stampede.
Dunno. Maybe we should farm this off to #topcity now. They’re in the market for a new flag, and they are now the host to the Heartland St--. Still can’t say it.
• 4. OK, seriously now: I’ve been partial to “Keep Manhattan Real,” or something along those lines. If there’s one thing about Manhattan that stands out, it’s that there’s not a lot of posing or image-conscious malarkey. That theme echoes “Keep Austin Weird,” and there’s something about it that just rings true, even to a curmudgeon.
Maybe especially to a curmudgeon.
I know they want just pictures, no words, and so that one won’t become the city flag. But it ought to surface on T-shirts or bumper stickers or on those things kids stick on their laptops now.
Seaton is Mercury publisher and editor in chief.