n 1963, Indianapolis was a city in need of a new identity and flag. The current flag was dowdy, slightly confederate-y (see below) and didn’t represent the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce’s vision for the city.
So they held a design competition to find a new flag. And out of the 72 submissions they received, one stood out, Roger Gohl’s – a minimal, beautiful design full of meaningful symbolism.
A Fine Flag Indeed
Roger Gohl‘s design is considered to be one of the most beautiful city flags of all time and has even inspired a few copycats (we’re on to you, Jackson, Mississipi). And it’s stood the test of time too, and has been used by the city for over 50 years.
Not bad, considering that Roger was only 19 at the time he designed the flag.
Fun Fact: The Best $50 Indianapolis Ever Spent
Fun Fact: Can you believe that the city only paid Roger Gohl $50 for his design? To be fair, it’s still more than Nike and Twitter paid for their identities. What’s really sad is that the city hasn’t made much of an effort to preserve or celebrate his contribution to our history and cultural identity.
Indy Full Circle: Celebrating Roger Gohl
Roger went on to have a great career as an interior designer after moving to California, designing the interiors of everything from art installations, to chapels, to hotels for hospitality giants like Hilton and the Radisson.
Yet the city still hasn’t done anything to celebrate and preserve Roger’s work.
Our Idea, Indy Full Circle, is a finalist for a $10,000 grant from IndyHub that will fund part of the documentary’s production and help us create educational resources for middle school history teachers to help them teach about Roger Gohl’s contribution to our city’s history.
You can stay tuned for updates at RogerGohl.com.
This blog could not have happened without help from Will Higgins’ original IndyStar article about the flag’s history. You can read it here.