Nearly five years after it was first proposed, Springfield, Missouri has a new official city flag, effective March 1.
In a 7-2 vote, City Council approved a new city flag design first proposed by the Springfield Identity Project in 2017. A retirement ceremony for the historic city flag is planned to take place when the new flag is raised at city hall March 1.
The new flag features a dark blue and white eight-pointed emblem, called the "Compass Crown" in the center. The compass point design represents Springfield's role as a crossroads to the nation. The crown is a reference to Springfield's nickname, Queen City of the Ozarks. Three four-pointed stars represent three elements of the city: innovative spirit, connection with nature and Ozarks culture. A broad white horizontal stripe is meant to symbolize the Ozark Plateau, on which Springfield was built, and Route 66. A light blue background represents Ozarks water and skies.
“A city’s flag should elicit feelings of civic pride,” said Director of Public Information and Civic Engagement Cora Scott.
The flag issue went before City Council’s Community Involvement Committee once in 2019 and twice in 2021, when the committee asked the Department of Public Information and Civic Engagement to solicit public input and call for design submissions.
The department conducted two rounds of public engagement and accepted feedback via online input form, a call tree/voicemail and email last fall and again in December and this month.
“The majority of the most recent public input responses came via the online input form, which was not a scientific, statistically valid randomized survey, and there are inherent pros and cons to this approach,” Scott said. “It was intentionally wide open with very low barriers to access. Historically, a significant number of people use shared computers, such as library and other public access computers, to provide feedback during the City’s public engagement efforts. This was noted to City Council and the public at the outset of this particular engagement effort.”
The total number of responses was 8,863 with 4,528 or 51.1%, in opposition to adopting the new proposed flag and 4,335 or 48.9%, in support.
“We received 26 submitted designs, which both the Community Involvement Committee and subsequently, the full City Council at a lunch workshop, reviewed,” Scott said.