Any Given Street:
I think in Miami your car could be worth $3000 less for not having a goofy color, but here in Frisco it’s the opposite.
All right, get out there and conform, Fellow Citizens.
That’s what they’ve gotten done the past year. Nothing. So this post from June 2015 is still as relevant as ever.
Hey, were we supposed to have some competition of proposed New San Francisco Flag ideas last year, complete with an unnamed “San Francisco official” as one of the judges, you know, for color of authority? Yep. But did that actually happen? Nope.
Like, who in SFGov would do this kind of thing? Our Unpopular Mayor? IDTS. He’s got enough real problems. Well, who else? IDK. Who wants to risk reelection over something like this?
A more honest approach would be to design a super great flag what follows all the current rules and then propose it as a replacement for San Francisco’s flag. That’s a one-step process. The problem with the two-step proposal from “Roman” “Mars” and, oddly, AutoDesk is that you could very easily end up with a design what’s less popular than the current design, right?
Step 1: Dump Haterade on the current flag so much so that we start a damn fool design contest to dump the current flag in favor of some undisclosed “improved” flag.
Step 2: Decide on a new flag that Friscans like less than the current design.
(So yeah, old flags is funny. Sometimes they get updated per the “rules” in fashion at the time they get updated – such is life.)
Anyway, I’m sorry designerly community, but sometimes new ideas are bad ideas and sometimes self-indulgent efforts to change things for the sake of change isn’t good for your fellow taxpayers / citizens. That’s my sperpective from this side of the Bay…
“Here it is: http://www.sanfranciscoflag.com/
1. First of all, that’s a nice old-tyme skyline photo you got there – what is it, pre-Cosco Busan? It’s certainly pre-One Rincon – that’s what jumps out at me. Hey, does “good design” prevent giving credit for the best element of your new website? Let’s fix that: Christian Mehlführer, AKA User: Chmehl. of Vienna, Austria. Bro goes around the world, around the wo-orld to take good photos, right? [UPDATE: Oh, I see! A credit might “mar” the simplicity of your painfully oh-so-2015 well-designed website? Well, boo hoo!]
2. The designerly name: “Roman Mars.” Mmmm… (It detracts, it distracts, non?) Well, my name is Ares Greek – pleased to meet you!
3. Ted Talk? Strike two!
4. Driving people to an 18-minute video instead of typing out your manifesto with bullet points? Does that work? (It didn’t work on me, sorry.)
5. Already being on double-secret logo probation for supporting UC’s recent inchoate “good-design” logo/monogram/whatever effort.
So those are the comments.
1. 99% Invisible is 99% good. It’s excellent, you know, generally, when it’s not taking time out to defend the Designerly Community.
2. The Bros of AutoDesk are all right as well. Just look at them maintaining focus under heavy pressure back when the Bay to Breakers fun run wasn’t completely shaped by an unholy alliance of Christian Billionaire Philip Anschutz + touchy millionaire NIMBY homeowners:
But why would Autodesk want to kill our flag?
I’ll tell you, our flag is bad-ass. Look what you can do with it:
You want to talk history? Let’s talk history – see below, from the Wiki.
In closing, The Bird Is The Word. And if you succeed* in changing it significantly, I’ll work tirelessly to get it changed back.
END OF LINE.
“the reason people don’t use it often is kind of an obvious one: it’s not very good.” UH, NOPE! “OBVIOUS” TO YOU, PERHAPS.
“a symbol that San Franciscans tend to rally behind” UH, COULD THERE BE _OTHER_ REASONS WE DON’T “TEND TO RALLY BEHIND” ANY PARTICULAR SYMBOL?
“overhaul?” YOU MEAN _COMPLETELY REPLACE_, RIGHT?
“design community?” AHAHAHAHAHAHA! “WE FEW, WE PROUD, DESIGNERLY FEW!”
“Does it really matter if San Francisco has a better flag or not?” GOOD QUESTION. NOPE!
“San Francisco has a chance to define its values through an enduring, recognizable symbol.” MEH. BUT IF YOU WANT TO GET STARTED, HIRE A LOBBYIST TO START LOBBYING THE SUPES. IT’LL RUN YOU SOMETHING LIKE $10,000 A MONTH FOR MANY, MANY MONTHS. WELCOME TO FRISCO, OAKLANDER. P.S. HEY, GUESS WHAT – YOUR FLAG SUCKS TOO. IT VIOLATES ALL THE RULES ME AND MY CREW MADE UP. LET’S CHANGE IT NOW. TO WHAT, I DON’T KNOW, I WON’T SAY. JUST ANYTHING BUT AN OAK TREE, WHICH, YOU KNOW, HAS BEEN DONE, LIKE BY PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND AND MANY OTHERS. PLUS, IT SAYS “OAKLAND” RIGHT ON THE THING. WHAT COULD BE MORE BANAL? KELL DOMAGE!
Caption from “War & Dissent: The U.S. in the Philippines, 1898-1902″ exhibit. Curated by Randolph Delehanty, Ph.D. of the Presidio Trust.
“In 1900, banker and art patron Mayor James Duval Phelan, mayor from 1897 to 1902, recommended to the Board of Supervisors that San Francisco adopt a flag and motto. Over 100 designs were submitted and John M. Gamble’s proposal was selected. It depicts a phoenix rising from its ashes on a white field. The mythological phoenix appears in many ancient cultures and is a symbol of immortality. When the long-lived phoenix feels death is near, it builds a nest of aromatic wood and sets it afire. A new phoenix then arises from the ashes, just as San Francisco arose from the great fires of the 1850s. The motto “Oro en paz y fierro en guerra” “Gold in Peace and Iron in War” refers to the city’s then-recent experience during the Spanish–American War as the embarkation point for troops to the Philippines in 1898.”
**See how that works? The high school student who hasn’t actually hurt anybody IRLAFAIK is described as one who has “hurt a lot of people.” And in this town, some who are convicted of homicides end up getting probation or something like several months in jail…
Both these shots of our Disney Family Museum are around on the internet. They were taken by the same person at the same time.
Here’s the (more) real version:
And here’s that same shot after a little (or of a lot of) Photoshopping:
I don’t know if this second version, with the colors turned up to 11, belongs in the MSM publication I found it in…
Well this is how things were shaping up way back last year, when the fun-loving North Bay Bros of Autodesk teamed up with East Bay radio personality
Sandy Beach, J Crew, Sam Francisco, Greek Aphrodite, oh, “Roman Mars” to redesign our official flag.
Now, at the time, the plan was to have a contest or something with a “San Francisco official” giving input, you know, for color of authority. But here in the West Bay, this scheme might not be all that popular, so I was wondering who was going to step up to climb up the flagpole / lightning rod, you know, for no good reason.
Well, nobody’s stepped up yet, just saying. So that means things are behind schedule, since all this was supposed to get going last year.
And when I say things, I mean, there’s no way that you could come up with one new flag design that would get voted in over the current version, so the effort is to first get people to agree to chuck the old flag and only then come up with the replacement. The auslanders have decided on a two-stage process for us.
And when I say voted in, I mean that the People Of SF would eventually be able to weigh in with big fat VETO stamp, in one fashion or another. (Remember when Our Designerly Community tried to wholesale change the official flag of Iraq? It didn’t go so hot. That’s something to consider, College Boy. And remember this recent attempt to change the UC logo? (I wonder if we ever got our money back for that one?))
And I mean that Mayor Ed Lee right now has never been more unpopular right? So, who’s going to step up to shepherd this New Flag plan?
I know not.
Anyway, let’s see if 2016 shakes out better for this misguided effort…
All right, I promised a history of the giant Christmas trees of San Francisco Civic Center in front of City Hall (aka the highest classical dome in the Western Hemisphere, believe it or not.*)
Here we go, from the mid to late Aughts, complete with a Star of Bethlehem atop. A shot from my office:
You know, keeping with Christian Tradition, as they say.
Well that didn’t go down good. So, in part due to some of my photos on SFist, back when Blogging Was King, and due to complaints of City Hall / SFGov workers objecting to having Christmas sort of imposed upon where there work – look it up on SFGate, Matier and Ross were on it – bye-bye Bethlehem star and bye-bye other overt displays of Christianity in and around City Hall.
But the tree stayed, and each and every year it came back, starless of course. And it was labeled a “Holiday Tree” in case there was any worry about it being a Christmas tree. Fine
Via Steve Rhodes, who, like Visa, is Everywhere You Want To Be.
And then, oh no, the garish lights on the tree! All those colors! Well, some rich white ladies about town thought they looked tacky, so away they went.
So that left us with this:
O.K. fine. Matier & Ross also had this story, about how the new, classier, white lights for white people cost RPD five figures, but that was OK, they said, because the colored Christmas tree lights would be able to be used in Golden Gate Park on Stanyan and perhaps they’re still in use, IDK.
Except this lack of color just wasn’t jazzy enough for other certain people.
So then came this:
So, the colors came out of the tree in front of City Hall and they went into City Hall itself.
Were these changes “improvements?”
No. But that’s what they were called at the time.
Anyway, that takes up to 2014, when we didn’t get any giant tree at all? NEWS TO ME! Did I not notice it wasn’t there? I forget. I tend to notice new things, I don’t tend to notice things what should be there and aren’t.
Here’s her beef:
“Hello. I was online trying to find info on why there was no Christmas tree outside of SF’s city hall in 2014, and I came across your post about the lights’ history during recent years. Regardless of any decor inside of city hall, i just don’t see why the tree was not part of last Xmas. I looked around online for info about the tree going up again this December, but any info on SF lighting ceremonies did not include a city hall plaza tree. I suppose the mayor’s argument for no tree is cost cutting and that people can go inside city hall to see some festive decor or head down to Union Square to join the tourists, but I find it pretty stunning that a major city has nixed its plaza tree. If you have an answer on this subject, I’d greatly appreciate hearing it.
It’s a Christmas Mystery!
*No no, the dome you’re thinking about (US Capitol Building) aint actually higher, OR it (San Jose City Hall or SuperDome) aint classical, OR it (St. Peter’s Basilica or Dome des Invalides) aint in the Western Hemisphere. Sorry. Look it up!
Via KQED – oh, I see.
Interestingly enough, elements of the designerly community plus a North Bay tech firm’s marketing department are colluding to ban our current Oro en Paz, Fierro en Guerra City of San Francisco rising phoenix flag and replace it with something like Chicago‘s, or something.
Until that time, look forward to more 41510-style SF/Oakland mashup logos from our SFPD Academy.
Opposition is mounting against the recent push to ashcan our San Francisco flag.
Here’s what San Franciscans are so opposed to, this Party Line:
Isn’t this along the line of YOUR VACUUM CLEANER SUCKS – MR DYSON HAS A PLAN TO FIX IT, BY SELLING YOU … A DYSON MODEL?
Hey, but maybe your non-designer, non-Dyson, SHARK ROTATOR vacuum bought on sale for $159.99 from Costco #144 is actually BETTER / CHEAPER (it depends on the model*) than anything Mr. Dyson can sell you, what about that?
Here’s the plan these, these people have, the plan is to try to make Friscans dissatisfied with Our Flag and then, only after starting up some high-profile contest, would we consider which new design to pick.
But here you go, this is what the Designerly Community has in mind from the get-go, something like this…
Is this what you want, Frisco?
All right, we’ll just have to wait and see how many “city officials” will join in this marketing effort for a North Bay tech firm, how many electeds will bring “color of authority” to this misinformed effort.
I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.
END OF LINE
*Look at the half-pint motor on this thing – it’s not even a real Dyson, it’s like a loss leader, except it costs a mint. C’mon!
Here it is, a shot via c_nilsen, showing fringe upon fringe:
The yellow border, now reproduced as a part of the flag was originally intended to be a gold fringe, but mistakenly became incorporated into the design. When used indoors, as is the custom, a gold fringe is added to what was originally intended to be the fringe.
Now say what you will about the current version of our phoenix flag, regardless of that, I’ll concede that this fringe upon fringe look, used for ceremonies mostly, looks stupid.
So, there. Room for common ground with the pay-us-money-to-follow-this-year’s-fashion designerly community.
Up next? #2 That stupid-looking cartoon bird…