Cedar Park City Council reopened the process to select an official city flag during its Thursday night meeting. The city previously unveiled its flag in early December at the holiday tree lighting event at Heritage Oak Park, but the new design received backlash on social media.
More than 200 people stated their displeasure at the new flag on a local Facebook page, some specifically mentioning the four white X’s running down the middle of the design.
The process to obtain an official city flag began as a community-wide project in April 2016 when City Council asked residents to submit designs and received about 250 entries. The city formed a subcommittee to identify recurring colors and symbols in the submissions, and its members chose a local resident’s design as the basis for the flag.
Cedar Park City Council approved the city flag during open session in a Sept. 2016 meeting.
The design chosen was made up of a blue rectangle, a green rectangle, and a white line with four X's running down the middle. The pieces of the flag represent different elements of Cedar Park, including its creeks, natural parklands, the railroad and important roadways, and the four names the area has held in its history: Running Brushy, Buttercup, Brueggerhoff and Cedar Park.
While Cedar Park council chambers were full during the public hearing Thursday night, less than 10 people spoke before council on the flag. One of the speakers, Destiny Nyznik, criticized both the design of the flag and the selection process.
“When I think of Cedar Park, I think of trees, not X’s, even though I know what they mean, I know they’re city names, I got the whole story,” she said. “At least we the people of Cedar Park should have had a vote.”
Others spoke in favor of the way the city selected the flag, including Cedar Park resident William Miller and his eight-year-old son. Miller said his son saw the call for flag designs posted last year and was looking forward to seeing what was selected.
“[My son] saw it at the public library—a city institution. People who were involved with the city saw the flag developing, saw the contest posted at the Cedar Park public library,” he said. “It was not done in secret. I saw that.”
Multiple city councilmembers thanked residents for providing feedback and said they wanted a flag to be a positive identifier for the city.
“We need to have a flag the citizens of Cedar Park are confident and proud of,” Councilmember Corbin Van Arsdale said.
The council opted to sent the 250 flag designs that were previously submitted last year to the city’s Parks, Arts, and Community Enrichment Board, which promotes cultural and recreation enrichment in the city. Council also request city staff to make recommendations on the best process to hold a public vote once the board narrows down the number of possible designs.
Mayor Matt Powell said he hopes the process could happen by March.
“We’ve got a bunch of submissions, let’s get to it,” he said.