By a vote of 6-0, the Spokane City Council approved a resolution on Monday to create a work group that will develop a new design for the city's official flag.
The current flag was designed for the Expo '74 but is not widely used.
The resolution was proposed by Councilwoman Kate Burke, who says she's long been interested in city flags. She even has tattoos of city flags from places where she has lived, like Chicago, which has one of the most famous city flags.
When Burke heard interest in remodeling Spokane's flag, she jumped at the chance.
"At our last town hall meeting, we had a constituent come forward saying we needed to redo our flag," Burke said. "Of course I was really interested in getting involved, so I drafted up a resolution to start a flag group."
As to why a new flag is necessary to begin with, Burke says the current one is simply outdated.
"Most flags just get old, get outdated, and then lose their feeling, motivation, and interest throughout time," she said. "And so I think this is a good opportunity for us as a growing city with new people moving in, to start figuring out who we are, who we want to portray ourselves as, and then how can we design that into a flag and have a lot of pride around it."
The resolution passed unanimously. Councilman Mike Fagan was absent from the meeting.
It creates a work group made of 10 members, including city leaders, ordinary citizens, and representatives from the Spokane Arts Commission and the Spokane Tribe.
Any Spokane resident can apply to be on the new commission. None of the commissioners will be paid and Burke says the group will not notably use up any city resources.
She says she's already seeing a lot of interest and receiving emails with potential designs.
Those who want to submit their ideas can send them to the new commission or attend monthly public meetings.
The commission will outline their priorities for a new flag, seek and identify possibilities, narrow down their options, get broader public input, and then finally submit their single recommended design to the city council for approval by December 31st, 2019.
Burke says the ultimate vision is to see the flag all over the place in Spokane, as Chicago's flag is seen in that city.
"Eventually I'd love to see organizations and different companies pick it up as a sense of pride," she said. "I'm just excited about the movement, the energy behind it already. Just really excited about where this could go and how this could drum up some pride in Spokane."