It's Flag Day, Indianapolis!

Roger Gohl: the Father of Indianapolis’ Flag

In 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.

I’m working on a documentary about Roger Gohl’s work in partnership with Rita Troyer, a designer from the Indianapolis Musuem of Art, Cristina Vanko and the Harrison Center for the Arts.

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.

2 Comments

Got something to say? Feel free, I want to hear from you! Leave a Reply to Rick Such

  1. Rick Such says:

    I love your idea about creating a documentary about Roger Gohl. If you find yourself in need of audio post-production assistance, please let me know. We’re located a block away from SmallBox in Broad Ripple and I will volunteer our services to help make this documentary as good as it can be, at least from an audio perspective. Please call me if you’d like to chat. The studio number is 803-3727.

    Best wishes!

    Rick Such
    Earshot Audio-Post

    • Mayowa says: (Author)

      Rick,
      thanks for reaching out to me. I’ve been a big fan of your work for a while, especially the kenra spot and the flawless ADR on the Mike’s Carwash ad.

      I’ll be sure to get a hold of you.

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