Cedar Park Council votes to reconsider design for unpopular new flag


Highlights

Many Cedar Park residents disliked the flag; others thought they should’ve had a say in the design.

The council charged city staffers with coming up with ideas on conducting a voting process for a new design.

Cedar Park’s new city flag is coming down.

The City Council approved a motion by the mayor to reconsider the flag’s design and take a public vote on it. Council members also approved taking down the new flag at all the city facilities where it has been flying.

The decision came after a backlash from residents unhappy about the new flag after it was unveiled in early December. More than 200 people have posted comments on Facebook about how much they dislike the flag, including the four white X’s running across its center. Others told officials the public should have had a say in its design.

The council voted Thursday to send the 250 flag design entries previously submitted by the public to the city’s Parks Arts and Community Enrichment Board so it could narrow down the submissions. The council also decided to ask the city’s staff to come up with recommendations on a voting process for the public.

“This thing is going to get fixed and done in a way we are going to be proud of,” Council Member Corbin Van Arsdale said.

Mayor Matt Powell said taking a public vote on the flag wasn’t an idea that the council had previously “floated and dismissed.” “It just didn’t come up,” he said. “We missed it and I missed it.”

The community enrichment board will meet the second Monday in February. The meeting is open to the public.

Although Cedar Park’s council chambers were packed Thursday night for a public hearing about the flag, fewer than 10 people made comments. Destiny Nyanik said she didn’t like the flag’s design.

“When I think of Cedar Park I think of trees, not x’s,” she said.

Nyanik said the public should be allowed to vote on the design on various social media, including Facebook, Patch and Nextdoor.

Nyanik also said she had talked to many people who didn’t want to come to the public hearing because they didn’t want to “hurt the feelings” of the artist whose design had been chosen for the flag.

William Miller, another resident who spoke at the public hearing, said he liked the flag and wanted the city to keep it. “If you get rid of it you will only remember the conflict,” he said.

Sharon Wolfe, who has lived in Cedar Park for 40 years, said the parts of Cedar Park history that she would like to see on the flag include the rock quarry that many of the town’s first residents worked in and the cedar posts that the town produced.

Joe Pollard, who submitted a design for the flag and has also criticized on Facebook the design that was chosen, said he was withdrawing his design from the contest. He said the council’s vote Thursday night showed that “social media had an impact.”

Powell said this month that he going was going to suggest to the council that it consider giving people an option to vote on the design they want.

A subcommittee of three council members, including Powell, had selected two finalists out of 250 design entries submitted in April by the public. The design the council chose in September was submitted by resident Catherine Van Arnam.

Arnam has said the white X’s represented some of the city’s history, including the cedar posts that some of the first settlers in the area produced and the barbed wire that strung the posts together.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Review of peer cities finds Austin’s legal structure has different look
Review of peer cities finds Austin’s legal structure has different look

Most of Austin’s peer cities have city attorneys who report directly to the City Council as opposed to the city manager, which is how Austin has framed its legal structure. The finding, through a staff review completed last week, has added context to lingering debate about whether Austin should adopt the same setup. Earlier this year, a Charter...
PolitiFact: Cruz didn’t say what viral image alleges
PolitiFact: Cruz didn’t say what viral image alleges

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has been openly opposed to same-sex marriage, but he didn’t blame gay people for mass shootings and public nudity during a 2014 speech. A 2015 viral image that falsely quotes Cruz is gaining traction again on social media as the Republican incumbent looks to keep his seat against Democratic nominee U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke...
Austin gentrification study touted as tool to fix affordability crisis
Austin gentrification study touted as tool to fix affordability crisis

When Delwin Goss moved to the Montopolis neighborhood in Southeast Austin in 1992, it wasn’t safe to walk down the street at night because it had so much crime, he said. Over time, the fabric of the neighborhood has started to change: People jog at night at dusk, and many of the drug houses have closed. But home prices are rapidly increasing...
Echoes of Anita Hill in charge against Brett Kavanaugh
Echoes of Anita Hill in charge against Brett Kavanaugh

In a prologue to their 1994 book, “Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas,” journalists Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson wrote of how “unresolved the conflict” remained between Thomas, the conservative justice, and Anita Hill, the law professor who testified that he had sexually harassed her a decade earlier...
Did backers of city audit proposition skirt ‘dark money’ restrictions?
Did backers of city audit proposition skirt ‘dark money’ restrictions?

The political action committee behind a ballot proposition that calls for an independent efficiency audit of Austin City Hall might have broken local campaign finance laws by shielding the identities of its donors, according to city officials. In the sole campaign finance report it filed with the city, Citizens for an Accountable Austin showed only...
More Stories