Rich Howells

City of Scranton is looking for local artists to redesign its flag before March 20, 2020

City of Scranton is looking for local artists to redesign its flag before March 20, 2020
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Looking for a fresh start after former mayor Bill Courtright plead guilty to three felony public corruption charges in 2019, Scranton began 2020 by swearing in the city’s first female mayor as well as its first openly gay member of City Council.

Today, Mayor Paige Cognetti announced the Electric City’s next step towards a new outlook on the newly created Mayor of Scranton Facebook page – designing an updated city flag.

The letter posted states:

The City of Scranton is undertaking the redesign of our city’s flag, and we would like resident submissions for the new design. We are asking residents to submit their designs with the following parameters:

  • Symbols – Use shapes and symbols that represent the City of Scranton.
  • Simplicity – The flag should be able to be drawn from memory.
  • Coloring – Colors should remain consistent with the current flag: dark blue and yellow or gold.

Submissions can be made by mailing your design to 340 N. Washington Ave. or by email to Submitted concepts will be considered donations to the Scranton Flag project. No concepts will be copyrighted. Any final design will be open for public use. The process will be open to submissions, though the steering committee and therefore the City of Scranton may chose not to adopt a submission exactly as it was created, as well as to not officially adopt a new flag if so chosen. In order to ensure usability and appropriateness, a chosen design may be subject to modifications by a graphic designer, working cooperatively with the original designer and the City of Scranton.

The submission form can be found here. The deadline is Friday, March 20 at 4:30 p.m.

This isn’t the first time that Scranton has held a competition to create a flag. Despite being incorporated as a borough in 1856 and a city in 1866, Scranton had no flag to participate in the flag gallery of the Jamestown Exposition in 1907, so the Times newspaper held a contest to make one, offering a $20 prize to the winning Lackawanna County resident, according to

Victor Burschel of Dunmore won with his design that features a coal breaker surrounded by smokestacks and a train situated in a laurel wreath with a gear and bolts of lightning shooting out from the word “Scranton.”

The current flag with a simpler design of a fern leaf and Atomic Age symbols by William Kozy was adopted in 1966 following another contest by the Scranton Association to bring the city into the modern age before the city’s centennial celebration.

Looking at the flag today, it does seem dated and doesn’t really represent Scranton or its residents well. While the so-called “unhappiest city in America” will likely receive some nasty and sarcastic responses to this new call to action, it is clearly time for Scranton to start looking into its future instead of always dwelling on its past.