The new Springfield flag was raised in a ceremony in March 2022. (Photo by Jeff Kessinger)

The City of Springfield’s flag is among the top new flags in the U.S., according to the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA).

NAVA, which dubs itself as the “world’s largest organization of flag enthusiasts and scholars,” put out a survey, of which 2,852 people participated, that rated 312 new American city flags.

The survey was held between Sept. 1 through Nov. 30, and surveyors rated flag designs on a scale of 1 to 10.

Springfield’s flag, which was approved on Jan. 10, 2022, was given an “A” grade and listed among the top 25 flags that were a part of the survey.

“A well-designed city flag can foster civic pride and community cohesion,” a press release announcing the results reads. “It can support the city’s branding and promotion. And a simpler flag usually costs the city and its residents less, leading to its broader use.”

The new Springfield flag has been around for several years, but is just coming up on its one-year anniversary of being the official flag for the city.

The white stripe in the middle of the flag is meant to represent the Ozark Plateau and Route 66, with the central “Compass Crown” in reference to Springfield’s role as a crossroads in the U.S., while the white upper half intended to resemble a crown, in relation to Springfield’s moniker as the “Queen City of the Ozarks.” The three stars above the crown constitute Springfield’s innovative spirit, connection with nature and the Ozarks culture.

It became official after a contentious debate over replacing the historic city flag, which was adopted in 1938. The new Springfield flag was proposed in 2017 by a group known as the Springfield Identity Project.

NAVA’s flag design guide follows five basic principles: 

  1. Keep it simple.
  2. Use meaningful symbolism
  3. Use two to three basic colors
  4. No lettering or seals
  5. Be distinctive or be related

Missouri had 9 other cities that were also graded based on the survey results. Richmond Heights, Ballwin, Crestwood, Branson and Republic all received an “F.” Nixa got a “C,” Columbia and Lake St. Louis each got a “B+” and West Plains, like Springfield, received an “A.”

“Studying the process of flag design and adoption helps us understand how flags connect people to their communities,” said Ted Kaye, who coordinated the survey and is the secretary of NAVA.

Old city flag to the right and new city flag to the left. (Photos: City of Springfield)

Jack McGee

Jack McGee is the business and economic development reporter at the Springfield Daily Citizen. He previously covered politics and elections for the Citizen. Before that, he worked at documentary film company Carbon Trace Productions and Missouri State University’s student-led newspaper, The Standard. He’s an MSU graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and a minor political science. Reach him at jmcgee@sgfcitizen.org or (417) 719-5129. More by Jack McGee