So, about that new city flag …

We weren’t really aware that there was such a thing as a city flag until the Manhattan city government decided to hold an election to pick a new one. The old one featured the stylized top of an apple, a nod to the “Little Apple” nickname we’ve used here for a generation.

It’s not that this is really an important decision, but it is the kind of thing people get worked up about. City commissioners decided months ago to go ahead with the contest, not because they thought it was some sort of priority issue, but because Topeka was doing it, and it was about time to order some more flags, anyway. The city displays its flag in a few places, including City Hall.

Presumably, previous designs and redesigns have happened on the desk of a graphic artist somewhere, approved by somebody drawing a city paycheck. Which is fine, actually. Those previous designs were OK by us; the only time we really noticed anything was when they repainted the water towers on the hill, frankly.

So anyway, this time the issue was farmed off to an advisory board, which asked the public for entries, and then narrowed the pool from more than 100 down to seven. We’ll spare you the tortured effort of attempting to describe them, but four involve stars, two include an apple, two seem to suggest a hill, and four nod to a river. You can see them and vote on them at the city’s website. We published all of them in the paper last Sunday.

There’s a week of voting left. We’re not going to weigh in here on which one we like; a spirited discussion in our newsroom revealed strongly held but completely divided opinions. Truth is, we’re fine with any of them, and also fine with the existing design. There’s a lot more at stake in the ongoing discussions about the city budget, which is why this newspaper spills a lot more ink on that subject.

People are interested in imagery, and there’s no sense objecting to that. We’re visual beings.

So, have some fun. Vote if you want to. And then move on to something more significant.

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