Yorkie: Vexing Vexillology

Hi faithful readers, in lieu of a longer form post this week I want to share with you a new segment here at the Crier. I call it a Yorkie, a bite sized intro to a topic or aspect of Toronto. Hopefully they serve to inspire you to check the subject out further, or perhaps it will end up being a preview for a later, deeper post here.

The first Yorkie post is about what I see as a source of mild embarrassment for Torontonians.  It’s this:

It’s city hall, right? Right guys?

Yep, that’s Toronto’s flag. I think it’s pretty boring. It doesn’t get me as incredulous and self-conscious as this, and it certainly doesn’t get me as pumped and civiotic (civic and patriotic. Portmanteau’d, y’all) as this. I just think it’s kind of meh. Of course, I know little about graphic design, so I can’t give our flag a proper theory-grounded critique. But the fact that it was the product of a public, city-wide flag design competition in 1974 means there were so many good possibilities, which means we missed out on a potentially awesome fabric representation (or fabrication, if you will. I’m on portmanteau FIRE!). There was even a contest to find a new flag in 1997, but city hall was super indecisive, so we just got a slightly modified version of the one they selected in 1974,

Check out this great podcast episode for an interesting take on flag design and one American city’s flag journey, and this info page on the City of Toronto website that has some more background on the Toronto competition and some of the entries that didn’t make it.  BlogTO has a sweet article with some rejected entries too. For the record, my vote would have been Gibson Gaye’s entry.  Or that black and white flag on the city site. Or maybe the 1999 one that looks like Jaws is sneaking up on TO.

Anyway, that’s all I have for you for now.  Leave a comment with your flag vote, and maybe we can petition Jo-To to re-brand.

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