My Proposals for a New Seattle City Flag

You'd be forgiven for not knowing Seattle actually has a city flag. Except for showing up sometimes in the background of photos on the mayor's web site, it's really not used for much of anything: it is not even on display in the chambers of the Seattle City Council.

This flag was adopted in 1990, in time for Seattle to host the Goodwill Games that year (hence the "City of Goodwill" phrase), but I understand only a few official copies were created. It looks like this (image by Blas Delgado Ortiz from the FOTW Flags of the World web site):

Flag of the City of Seattle, image by Blas Delgado Ortiz from the FOTW website

Based on my comments on the Washington flag, I'm sure you can identify the problems. As municipal vex-design goes, it's certainly not the worst flag in the world. But it could be a lot better.

Here is my first proposal:

Andrew S. Rogers - Seattle flag proposal

The colors aren't great, and the compass rose design could be a sharper, but at least you can see what I have in mind.

The wavy lines are a traditional means, in heraldry and flag-design, to indicate water. Here, they show that Seattle is a city between two bodies of water (Lake Washington and the Puget Sound). The compass rose refers to our position in the northwest corner — the honor point, as I like to think of it — of the continental U.S. Also, the compass rose is an element of the Seattle Mariners' team logo, so there's a local connection there too.

And here's my second proposal, which is really just a variant of the first:

Andrew S. Rogers - Seattle flag proposal #2

Here, the wavy lines have been replaced with what I like to think of as a wavy version of the Canadian pale (pale is another heraldic term; to over-simplify, the Canadian pale consists of colored vertical bars on the edges of a flag and a white section in the middle). The symbolism is the same as in my first design, but the pale also represents our proximity to, and close relationship with, Canada.