Green River Community Flag
Together with artist Ashley Ross, I worked with the residents of Green River, Utah to create a town flag. We began by surveying residents and researching town history, learning what symbols, colors, and shapes were representative of Green River’s past, present, and future. With this information in mind we sketched, refined, sketched some more, and presented 20 rough options to community members at a design workshop for the city’s downtown plan. From the community feedback, we designed three finalists, and I constructed a voting booth and website to tally the vote. The winner was determined by the citizens of Green River during the week of Melon Days, an over 100-year festival celebrating the melon harvest. One option was the overwhelming favorite among Green River locals and visitors to Melon Days with over 60% of the vote.
Earlier in the month, I visited two Green River High School sewing classes to teach about flag symbolism, design, and history. Students designed flags to represent each of their respective families based on the principles outlined in class. They then made the flags by hand as an introduction to basic sewing, and displayed them next to the voting booth at Melon Days.
When consulting with the community, it was very clear that their flag should include watermelon which has a longstanding tradition in Green River's agricultural history, and the Book Cliffs that define the town landscape. The flag begins with a meandering green stripe to represent the river and also pay homage to the famous Green River melons. It flows below a dusty red-orange silhouette of the iconic Book Cliffs. When we look above, big blue skies are represent not only Green River's climate, but also its outlook. The star is split by the crossroads of river, rail, and road, referencing the town's identity as a waypoint, and the sections radiating from the center also give tribute the missile base of the past.
Since the flag was announced, it has been adopted by the City and is flown outside Green River homes and businesses. In the future, the local quilt guild plans to create a larger quilted version to hang in city hall.