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Davis, California

Saturday, May 18, 2024

UC Davis student fighting for new city flag


City Councilmembers reluctant to recognize new flag

On Feb. 20, UC Davis student Aiden Ramey laid out his case for a new city flag to Davis City Council members.

Since mid-October, the Davis Vexillology Club — vexillology being the study of flags — has been working to create and implement a new flag with UC Davis design students.

DVC, led by Ramey, launched a website in December where anyone can vote for their favorite flag design. Ramey and his team have narrowed the list down to five flags, each of which is meant to represent the city of Davis through specific colors and symbols. They also created a Facebook page to raise awareness and get people involved in the campaign.

“People sometimes say, ‘We have more important things to do than worry about a city flag,’ or, ‘Why does Davis need a flag,’” Ramey said, “and my response is, ‘If we had a great city flag, we would have a banner for people to rally under to face more important issues.’ In Chicago, police officers who have died are often buried with their city flag, not the American flag. Their flag is a source of pride and love for their city. Our flag should be that, too. Davis is a great city, and every great city deserves a great flag.”

Ramey was inspired by a TED Talk about flag design by Roman Mars, a vexillology aficionado and creator of the 99% Invisible podcast.

“For me, Davis has something special that I don’t think you can get from many other places, and I take pride in that,” said Andre Codner, who has worked on behalf of DVC to spread the word about the project. “I think this is why we need a flag. Flags — not seals or logos — show how much the community cares about where the flag is representing.”

Bob Bowen, the public relations manager for the City of Davis, thinks the city already has an appropriate flag: Davis’ city logo.

“It’s [the logo is] one of the most recognizable brands in the U.S., we have found,” Bowen said. “It’s recognizable. It plays into our sustainability, our healthy lifestyle and the bicycles. The very rare occasion when we have needed a city flag, we had a researcher from UC Davis borrow one and take it to the South Pole, to the scientific research center there.”

At the meeting on Feb. 20, City Council officially recognized Davis’ city logo as the flag of the city for the time being. Mayor Pro Tempore Brett Lee encouraged Ramey to continue searching for a new city flag but preferred the city logo.

“I’m not ready to get a new tattoo,” said City Councilmember Will Arnold.

Longtime Davis resident Erick Lorenz thinks the logo is good for stationary and plaques and makes a perfectly fine banner when hung horizontally against a wall but loses its value when hung vertically or looked at from its backside.

“The designs proposed by the DVC avoid these problems by using geometric patterns and elements that work in any orientation and from any direction,” Lorenz said.

Although the DVC has already received over 1,100 votes, Ramey acknowledged that there is still a lot of work to do if they’re going to get their designs recognized. Ramey has pledged to get a tattoo of the flag if they accomplish their mission.

“A flag is not the most important thing that the city needs, but a well-designed official flag could be a point of focus for city pride and civic awareness,” Lorenz said.

There is no current end date for the project. Ramey and the DVC plan on continuing their efforts until they get recognition from the city.



Written by: Dylan Svoboda — city@theaggie.org


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