What should the new Syracuse city flag be? Public to vote on 4 finalists
Syracuse is looking to redesign its flag from the city seal on a blue and white background to something more subtle and representative of all Syracusans. The Syracuse Flag Initiative looks to hang the flags of the four finalists in Clinton Square as the public votes on their favorites.
This is the first redesign of the Syracuse City Flag in more than 100 years. The initiative narrowed down nearly 300 submissions to four semifinalists.
Andrew Fraiser, of the Syracuse Flag Initiative, said the flags needed to meet several criteria.
"Keep it simple, use meaningful symbolism, use two to three basic colors from the standard colors set, no lettering or seals — wink, wink, that's kind of what ours is — and then also be distinctive or be related," Fraiser said. "They're very intentional symbols, symbolism, the colors that they used, all of that was very thoughtful. It was a very intentional approach."
Eric Ennis, of Adapt CNY which is leading the Syracuse Flag Initiative, said the new flag will be licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means the city can use the design for other purposes too.
"It opens up a whole range of opportunities to really be able to use this," Ennis said. "The visibility imagining murals in the city, painted with whatever the new flag is. Hopefully, the visibility and people will become much more familiar with what Syracuse's new flag is."
Syracuse residents can vote on the flags through June 6. The Syracuse Common Council will need to vote to keep the current flag or to adopt the recommended flag design by June 30.
The Unity Flag, submitted by Shane LaChance: “The 'Unity' flag design boldly celebrates the City of Syracuse's rich history, central location, and unique character," LaChance said. "Its simple yet striking design carries powerful messages of unity, nature, and place. The four inward-facing arrows symbolize Syracuse's historical significance as a crossroad for democracy, commerce, and innovation. This flag serves as a unifying symbol for all who call and have called Syracuse home, yesterday, today and for generations to come. So fly it high, Syracusans, and show your pride in being part of the fabric of this one-of-a-kind city.”
The Grain of Glory, submitted by Sophia Jaberi: “One of Syracuse's nicknames is ‘Salt City’ because of its salt springs, and the city was a top salt producer in the country for much of the 19th century. If you look at salt under a microscope, it looks like a cube or a square/diamond with a smaller indent in the middle. This shape under a microscope is specifically unique only to salt! Therefore, I used it as inspiration for the shape that is in the middle of the flag. I purposely tilted the square/diamond salt symbol to depict a hill/mountain. This is to represent the Onondaga Nation who are named the ‘People of the Hills.’ Syracuse used to be one of the major stops/crossroads on the Erie Canal, which flowed directly through downtown. The Canal brought major growth and prosperity to the city and represents the blue line that goes across the middle of the flag.”
The Evening Tree, submitted by Ryan Kostusiak: “This flag was designed to be not just a flag of Syracuse but one of Central New York," Kostusiak said. "The colors, orange, white, and blue, represent courage, harmony, and freedom respectively and depicts a winter evening sky over Onondaga Lake. The tree represents the Haudenosaunee as well as the future growth of the city. The circular charge intersecting the white line creates the alchemical symbol for salt, one of the most important industries in the city’s history. Finally, the eleven-pointed star stands for New York State, the eleventh state to ratify the Constitution."
The First Light Flag, submitted by Eric Hart: “The First Light flag represents our land, our people, our hopes, and our dreams," Hart said. "The six-pointed star symbolizes the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee and the six historical names by which Syracuse has officially been known. The triangles represent the hills of Onondaga and the Onondaga Valley. The orange color symbolizes the sun and restoration. The azure blue color symbolizes Onondaga Lake and perseverance. The navy blue color symbolizes the hills of Onondaga and industriousness. The white color symbolizes salt, snow, and peace.”