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Pocatello, Idaho, has earned a title that no city has ever won before or coveted. The city was called out for having "the worst flag in North America."

September 9, 2016
Writer: Adam Jacobs

Pocatello, Idaho, has earned a title that no city has ever won before or coveted. The city was called out by the North American Vexillological Association for having "the worst flag in North America", according to a TED Talk by speaker Roman Mars.

According to Mars, an outstanding flag design should meet the following criteria:

  1. Keep it Simple
  2. Use Meaningful Symbolism
  3. Use 2-3 Basic Colors
  4. No lettering or Seals
  5. Be distinctive

The Pocatello flag breaks nearly all of those rules, with the unfortunate exception of being distinctive. After hearing the accusation, the city sent out a press release, saying that the flag was an unofficial one that was created by the Pocatello Chamber of Commerce, and that a design contest for a new flag that would represent the city was underway.

Logan McDougall, the Public Information Officer for the city of Pocatello, spoke with reporter Adam Jacobs about the city's flag.

"Our official motto is to go from worst to first. We've been named the worst, and we want to be the best now."

McDougall said that the mayor had been approached by many residents about changing the flag of Pocatello, and after watching Roman Mars' TED Talk, he agreed.

"Even though I knew it was coming at the end of the talk, when he said Pocatello has the worst flag, it really hurt," said McDougall.

The city of Pocatello's Flag Design Ad-Hoc Committee is accepting submissions by anyone, regardless of whether or not they live in Pocatello. Designers are asked to submit either a digital or hand-drawn rendition of the Pocatello flag, along with a brief explanation of the symbolism used in their design.