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.
UPDATE: INSIDE THE CAMPAIGN TO REDESIGN SF’S SUCK-TASTIC FLAG
“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.”
*The primary way our elites end up successfully imposing their “good design” upon San Franciscans is through turning an aesthetic issue into a health and safety** matter.
**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…