In a city with more pressing issues to address, the arguments over our official symbol have been, to put it kindly, an unfortunate distraction. The winning entry included an oak branch with the motto "Steady Progress" over a cream-colored field. With so much else on its agenda, does the council really want to fight a flag war? Not a bit, and that’s the point. July 19, 2018. Connect with them on Dribbble; the global community for designers and creative professionals. The first attempt to introduce a civic flag came in an 1897 Milwaukee Journal contest. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, Jena Sher worked as a designer at CNN, where she realized how powerful words and imagery can be transformed through graphic design. The finalists were unveiled in a City Hall ceremony and then submitted to an online vote. Why not let the do-over die a natural death and allow the People’s Flag to fly or falter on its own? The Arts Board kicked it back to the council a few months later with a recommendation to basically start over. We could indeed end up with three flags: the 1954 hodgepodge, “Sunrise over the Lake” and a Common Council-approved design to be named later. To make matters worse, all the criticism of the old (and still official) flag has rallied a hardy group of hip traditionalists who like its retro look. The city’s Request for Information generated a grand total of two responses. In one ranking of America’s municipal flags, Milwaukee’s came in 147th out of 150. How could something so scandalous happen? Despite its adoption by the people of Milwaukee, the flag awaits the Common Council’s approval. Without a dime in advertising, it quickly became the “People’s Flag,” a ubiquitous design that appears on T-shirts, beer cans, magazine covers, Brewers merchandise, coffee mugs, bicycles and, of course, flagpoles. The judges unanimously chose the finalists based on simplicity, symbolism, visibility at a distance, and uniqueness. No banner in our city’s long history has been so thoroughly tested and so widely accepted. Nov 14, 2016 - Stream Episode 3 - Milwaukee Flag Waving with Steve Kodis and Ken Hanson by United Adworkers from desktop or your mobile device I understand that people of goodwill and even good taste can disagree. And when it does, you might be struck by how much stuff is on it – from the head of a Native American chief to a ship’s hull to a picture of another flag to a factory to something that looks oddly like a flying saucer. But whether it becomes the city’s official flag depends on City Hall politics. The Registered Agent on file for this company is Steven Kodis and is located at 392 E Becher St, Milwaukee, WI 53207-1222. The People’s Flag of Milwaukee initiative is an ongoing effort to promote civic pride throughout the city. For all inquiries, please contact info@milwaukeeflag.com. View Steve Kodis’ profile on LinkedIn, the world's largest professional community. Greater Milwaukee Area. Yes, it’s only a flag, but symbols are important. Rated highest amongst four other finalists, as determined by the public, the People's Flag will hereby fly as a symbol of potential and aspiration. Surely Reno must have plagiarized our People's Flag's indelible, one-of-a-kind design, right? It’s not the symbolism of the shapes or the artiness of the design that matter but the emotional response of the viewer. With no preconceptions and no previous connections, we spent an entire spring Saturday in 2016 looking over the possibilities, finally whittling them down to five. People would be hard-pressed to find the official flag flying in Milwaukee. Content referencing Steve Kodis. RM: But what puts the Milwaukee flag over the top, almost to the point of self-parody, is on it is a picture of the Civil War battle flag of the Milwaukee … Email: mail@johngurda.com. SK: It's really awful. Milwaukee-based designer Steve Kodis launched an initiative focused on a simple idea: Milwaukee is a great city that deserves a great flag. Milwaukeean and UWM graduate Steve Kodis is a graphic designer that believes design can make change better. Professional designers volunteered to facilitate the workshops and mentor participants on the principles, and power, of design. Ald. ... graphic designer Steve Kodis. The Milwaukee flag doesn’t make too many appearances, to be honest. What’s astonishing is that our legislative leaders seem to think the People’s Flag is somehow going to disappear when they anoint another design. Declaring that “A great city deserves a great flag,” he launched a campaign to bring civic design into the 21st century. Even Steve Kodis, the guy behind Milwaukee's People's Flag campaign, couldn't deny them. No busy collage of disparate elements of Milwaukee’s life and history. On May 14, 2016, the top 50 flag designs were exhibited at Milwaukee City Hall. By Laura Otto January 8, 2021. On April 23, 2016, five expert judges came together and narrowed down 1,006 flag design entries to 45 semifinalists and 5 finalists for exhibition at City Hall on May 14, 2016. Updated 04/11 at 12:13: to include further clarification on the design of the current flag from Steve Kodis. Visit this page to learn about the business and what locals in Milwaukee have to say. To be completely honest, my own first choice among the five finalists was the “M” star, a series of cleverly interlocked “M”s that formed a quilt-block star set in a field of blue. Steve Kodis flag. In 2015, in response to negative media coverage spurred by a 99% Invisible episode, Steve Kodis, a local graphic designer, partnered with Greater Together, an AIGA-affiliated non-profit, to launch a flag contest called "The People's Flag of Milwaukee". City Hall. “Flags really do have power,” said Steve Kodis, leader of the people’s flag movement and self-described “flag guy,” as he plead his case to the council’s Steering and Rules Committee. From its very beginnings as a grassroots campaign, the charge to design a new city flag—led by graphic designer Steve Kodis—created two “sides” of Milwaukee: the old and new. Local graphic designer Steve Kodis decided to do something about it. All rights reserved. The discussions were spirited, but our choices, in the end, were unanimous. The first two proposed redesigns were rejected. At the root of the flag flap, I believe, is the fact that some influential Milwaukeeans simply don’t like the design. I haven’t seen tattoos yet, but the People’s Flag has won similar acceptance in Milwaukee. Milwaukee Civil War-era flag. (In the visual arts world, white, like sunlight, does contain all the colors of the spectrum, but the reaction was understandable.) A flag should be simple and readily made; it should be different from the flag of any other country, place or people; it should be significant; it should be readily distinguishable at a distance; the colors should be well contrasted and durable; and lastly, and not the least important point, it should be effective and handsome. By April 14, 2016, over 1,000 designs were submitted by residents of Milwaukee and beyond, yielding more collective public participation than all previous flag design efforts throughout Milwaukee's history. He added that the flag could grow to more than just a flag, but ultimately a symbol for the city. Milwaukee Icon designed by Steve Kodis. That would be not only counterproductive but embarrassing. “Sunrise over the Lake,” in the meantime, took on a life of its own. Powerful when flying, and serene when at rest, our flag possesses the versatility to prevail as a symbol for all people of Milwaukee. Civil Flag Association, LLC is a Wisconsin Domestic Limited-Liability Company filed on March 8, 2017. View the full story: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel . Some businesses would kill for the recognition the flag has earned, and yet my friends on the Common Council want to start over. The Common Council would recognize the manifold shortcomings of the 1954 flag, replace it with “Sunrise over the Lake,” and we could all rally around a new civic symbol. An effort in 1975 produced unfavorable results, ending by the City taking no action. He is the author of twenty-one books, including histories of Milwaukee-area neighborhoods, industries, and places of worship. Do local business owners recommend Steve Kodis Design? The simple fact is that the flag is already an established brand, and no amount of aldermanic second-guessing is going to change that fact. In a city that already has plenty of divisions, do they really want to create one more? Kodis, who attended UW-Milwaukee and graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, had been researching flags when he looked up Milwaukee’s out of curiosity. If they can’t endorse the flag, one reasonable course is open: Do nothing. His knowledge and experience leading redesign initiatives spans the city to national level. This one could end badly. Boiled down to its basics, a flag is nothing more (or less) than a pattern of shapes and colors rendered in two dimensions. Does it have the power to inspire a sense of ownership? Former alderman Fred Steffan created a banner combining elements of some of the better entries. Jul 19th, 2018 by Jeramey Jannene. This lack of success inspired a private citizen and graphic designer, Steve Kodis, and local nonprofit, Greater Together, to create a new initiative led by the public. Why the dissonance? The sooner our leaders acknowledge and endorse that fact, the sooner we’ll be able to end the rancor and walk toward the new day behind a flag we all can salute. Steve sees branding as a very important aspect of business Steve Kodis is involved in the Milwaukee Flag project and aims to redesign the flag to give a better sense of identity and reinforce the pride that Milwaukeean’s have for the city. His design features a pleasing blend of colors (blue, gold, white) and symbols (three rivers, three founders) organized around the theme of a new day. The public rating process was covered by most major Milwaukee media outlets, rendering over 6,000 unique rating responses from citizens young and old. “I believe Milwaukee is a great city, and I think it deserves a great flag.” John Gurda is a Milwaukee-born writer and historian who has been studying his hometown since 1972. “I … The flag’s champions (see milwaukeeflag.com) have made it ridiculously easy to use the design. Others sensed racial overtones when advocates described the white in the flag’s sunrise as the color of unity. It's a misstep on the city's behalf, to say the least. (Milwaukee’s flag actually came first.) Students and young people were encouraged to discuss their relationship with the city and their hopes for a brighter future. Gold represents our brewing history and white represents peace. Matt Wild. As of June 2016, The People’s Flag of Milwaukee became the third proposed candidate to replace the official city banner. Chicago’s flag is a great example. Does it matter? Sales of the flag go toward programs that introduce young people to careers in design which help all of us envision a brighter, more inclusive and diverse future. ... Council Delays Flag Decision. — National Flag Committee of America, 1861. Following the reveal of the five finalists, an online public rating process was held, asking Milwaukeeans to rate each flag on a 0–10 scale to determine the highest rated entry. "Whenever I see a flag design, I am immediately judging it on its effectiveness," Steve Kodis, a graphic designer said. More than 6,000 responses were tallied — a greater turnout than in some aldermanic races — and the winner, announced on Flag Day (June 14) in 2016, was “Sunrise over the Lake,” by Robert Lenz. In a 2004 poll conducted by the North American Vexillological Association (PDF link), Milwaukee’s flag was rated the fourth worst of all major cities in the United States, ranking #147 out of 150 cities, with a score of 1.59 out of 10. This partnership started a larger conversation about Milwaukee today, but ultimately what we want Milwaukee to become. The public submitted 1,006 entries, from which five finalists were chosen in 2016. "All we can say is the imitation is flattering," said Kodis. The design initiative led nearly a dozen workshops across the city to engage the public in an authentic way. The organizers of the effort receive no compensation, and all profits from merchandise sales support Greater Together’s diversity efforts. By default if not declaration, “Sunrise over the Lake” has become Milwaukee’s flag. Latest. Simple, bold, and memorable, the design itself has become a touchstone of civic identity, emblazoned on police cars, clothing and human bodies; there’s an entire website devoted to tattoos of the Chicago flag. Local graphic designer Steve Kodis decided to do something about it. That’s not what happened. The result was more than 1,000 designs submitted by well over 500 individuals — a groundswell by any measure. I was one of five volunteer panelists enlisted to narrow the field to a manageable number. One person who definitely agrees is Milwaukee resident Steve Kodis, who quit his graphic designing job to focus full time on getting the flag changed. To recap briefly, there was long-simmering dissatisfaction with the flag Milwaukee adopted in 1954: a dog’s breakfast of vanished landmarks and casual stereotypes that include County Stadium, an Indian chief, smokestacks, a Christian cross, and a gargantuan gear. Efforts to redesign the flag had been initiated three times since its adoption. Tell our city officials to support the adoption of the People’s Flag of Milwaukee as the official city flag. Despite its official adoption in 1954, the flag had gone largely unnoticed and underutilized. This lack of success inspired a private citizen and graphic designer, Steve Kodis, and local nonprofit, Greater Together, to create a new initiative led by the public. It embodies the pride that Milwaukeeans share for our city with distinct and vibrant colors that shine as a beacon to guide us, honoring our past while looking forward to a new day. Kodis began the initiative, leading the process from start to finish with generous support from local nonprofit Greater Together. Steve Kodis Meet Steve Kodis, a local designer with a passion for branding and helping a small businesses develop a proper identity that gives them a professional look. Alumnus Steve Kodis leads the effort to redesign Milwaukee’s “hot mess” of a city flag. One of urban America’s most successful designs, it features a row of four red stars centered on five alternating stripes of white and blue. It resides firmly in the public domain, available for anyone to use in any way imaginable. Delegates Milwaukee Arts Board to decide if new flag needed and how to proceed. Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. In July 2018, more than two years after “Sunrise” appeared on the horizon, Milwaukee’s Common Council declined to make the flag official, punting the issue to the Milwaukee Arts Board. After “Sunrise” took the popular vote, however, I gladly closed ranks with the majority, and I’ve since become a staunch advocate of the winning design. Milwaukee flag finalists: “Three Rivers” by Cameron Pothier (top row, ... His criticism of the city's flag is what inspired local graphic designer Steve Kodis to create a new flag for the city. View Symbolism. Inspiration from our past, for our future. Saved by Jeremy Matthews Jeremy Matthews The People's Flag of Milwaukee. The company's filing status is listed as Delinquent and its File Number is C096922. In one ranking of America’s municipal flags, Milwaukee’s came in 147th out of 150. 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