Cedar Park will reconsider the design of their new city flag after public outcry became too loud to ignore.
At their last meeting, the Cedar Park City Council voted to reevaluate the design for the flag and take a public vote on it. The council also decided to remove the new flag from all city facilities where it was flying.
The decision came from an overwhelming amount of backlash and criticism on the flag’s design. The city’s Facebook page experienced upwards of 200 people expressing their negative feelings on the flag. They also critiqued officials for not letting the public vote on the matter.
"I will happily share that the majority of even the negative feedback was done very constructively," Mayor Matt Powell said.
The 250 flag design entries previously submitted will now be sent to the city’s Parks Arts and Community Enrichment (PACE) Board so they can narrow down the designs to the ones they believe are the best fit. The PACE Board will then send their finalists back to the council for consideration.
Powell asked the city staff to come up with recommendations on conducting a voting process for the public for the final designs.
"I think we should take advantage of our social media," Cedar Park resident James Heil said during the public hearing on the flag.
Sharon Wolfe, a 40-year-resident of Cedar Park and a member of the Cedar Park Heritage Society, said she would like the flag to include the rock quarry that many of the town’s first residents worked in. She also said the flag should not have a fourth 'x' for Buttercup since officials were confused when they incorrectly believed that Cedar Park was once named Buttercup. In fact, Cedar Park has only held the names Running Brushy, Brueggerhoff and, of course, Cedar Park.
Joe Pollard, a resident who submitted one of the flag designs said he was withdrawing his design from the contest. He pointed out that it’s okay to start the process over again.
“One of Cedar Park’s past names, Brueggerhoff, was changed because it was generally disliked and hard to pronounce,” he said. “This city has a history of needing a do-over.”
William Miller, another resident, said he liked the flag and didn’t think it should be taken down.
"In 50 years, the only people left looking at the flag will be looking at it honorably," he said.
Destiny Nyanik said the x’s were not representative of the city and that trees should have been featured.
Powell said most criticism on the flag had to do with the x’s.
“The negativity of the x’s has overwhelmed other positives,” he said.
A subcommittee of three council members selected two finalists out of the 250 entries submitted in April by the public. The winning design was submitted by resident Catherine Van Arnam. The flag was flying at 10 city locations, including City Hall, the Cedar Park Police Department, all of the city’s four fire stations, Veterans Memorial Park and the city library. The city spent nearly $7,000 on the flags.
The PACE Board’s next meeting is Feb. 13 and is open to the public.
Powell expects this process to wrap up by the end of March