All Roads Lead to Lincoln
by Sriyani Tidball
Lincoln’s new flag was the result of the competition Reflag Lincoln, when the city launched out a contest inspiring all designers to take part in helping Lincoln get a new flag. The winning flag, entitled All Roads Lead to Lincoln, was created by Ed Mejia, a Lincoln resident, the creative director, art director, and graphic designer in one of Lincoln’s businesses. There were 190 submissions and Mejia’s design was selected as the winner by an eight-person committee in charge of the project.
According to Mejia, he picked the colors very carefully and was inspired by the colors in the State Capitol. The teal, navy, and gold flag along with the art-deco style design, was influenced by the architecture and Native artwork displayed inside the Nebraska State Capitol. The colors were based on the Nebraska state flag. The yellow was modified to look closer to gold and the blue was shifted to teal by adding a green hue. The intersecting lines in the design was captured by the interconnection of technology, agriculture, and commerce that have drawn people from all over to Lincoln. The beacon in the center of the flag symbolizes hope optimism, and safe harbor, especially for those seeking to make the Lincoln community their home.
“I began the process of designing a submission for Lincoln’s next city flag by reflecting on the emotions I felt when I drove into town the first time”, said Mejia. “Lincoln rises up out of the horizon, beaming with a sense of hope and optimism that is shared by both lifelong residents and recent refugees.”
“People come from everywhere,” Mejia said during the ceremony. “They stop in Nebraska; they settle the land, they start businesses, tech businesses, big businesses, small businesses. I’ve met so many of them. This flag is in honor of all of them.”
After graduating from Union College in Lincoln, in 1998, Mejia started a family and decided Lincoln would be his permanent home. His flag design symbolizes the city of Lincoln that he loves and calls home.
When you look carefully at this beautiful flag, you recognize a sunrise, the State Capitol building, and an aerial view of the traditional center of the city of Lincoln with the star located at 13th and O streets.
Each color on the flag represents a different aspect of Lincoln. The teal green reflects nature in the city—Lincoln’s amazing tapestry of parks, trails, trees, and green spaces, and the home of the Arbor Day Foundation. The deep blue represents water, which includes Lincoln’s groundwater aquifer, a significant and valuable natural resource. The gold reflects a bright future.
According to the City, there is a protocol that follows
• The City Flag shall be displayed on city property with honor and shall be flown with dignity and respect.
• The City Flag may be displayed in municipal offices and on city property, carried in parades and displayed at other occasions and locations.
• The Mayor, or their designee is authorized to order the raising or lowering to a half-mast position of city flags at properties and facilities owned or operated by the City of Lincoln, or on the grounds of the County-City Building.
• When a City Flag is no longer a fitting emblem for display and becomes unserviceable or when it becomes faded or torn, it should be retired from further service with respect.