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New Allen County Flag Competition Commences

On January 1, 2024, the Allen County Bicentennial Executive Board began to accept flag design submissions. Those designs will be included in the process of creating a new Allen County flag, one of the many Bicentennial Celebration initiatives that will occur throughout 2024.

Allen County does not have an official flag. The old seal placed on a white background is being used in the Council Chambers Courtroom in the basement of Citizens Square as well as was flown above the Rousseau Centre as a symbol of Allen County Government. While the use of a seal on a flag has been a standard design for cities, counties, and states in the last century, flags are being reimagined. Communities are updating their ensign to embrace the idea of a civil flag vs. a government entity flag.

Anyone can submit up to three flag designs for consideration. Submissions will be accepted from the first of January through Friday, March 29, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. EST. Mailed submissions must be postmarked by 3/29/2024. When the submission window is closed, no additional designs will be considered.

When the Bicentennial Executive Board discussed the parameters and rules for the competition, they had to determine whether to limit the submission opportunity to current Allen County residents. However, they concluded that such a limitation would preclude people such as college students living in other parts of the state and country as well as people who commute into Allen County from surrounding communities, and even those who have roots in Allen County but no longer live here.

Curt Witcher, Director of Special Collections & Manager of The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library, and a Bicentennial Executive Board Member, explained, “It was important for us to take off the guard rails of geography. There are many people who have made Allen County home at some point, but have moved on to a different state, or even a different country. We cannot know those whose lives have been touched by this community in some way. We will get a better end product with more options from more people.”

All submitted designs will be evaluated by a committee of panelists appointed by the Bicentennial Executive Board. That group will help narrow and hone the designs which will then be passed back to the board to select a top 5. Those top tier images will be shared with Allen County residents to collect a popular vote and for public comment. The findings from that crowd-sourced information will help inform the Allen County Board of Commissioners in the selection of the final image. At any point in the process, the Bicentennial Executive Board or their appointed selection committee members may alter, combine, or edit the flag designs to help create the best representation of Allen County.

“This is a great way to get people involved and excited about our county’s bicentennial as well as to get students engaged,” shared Kate Dippold, the county’s Legislative Liaison. “We hope people no matter their age or artistic ability will consider participating in the competition.”

Designs that range from professional digital designs to crayon drawing are acceptable and can be submitted via email, online portal, or mail. The competition rules and submission details can be found on allencounty200.com.

The Waynedale News Staff
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