ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today announced the Howard County Flag Commission has launched a new online form available on the Commission’s webpage where individuals can submit up to three original designs for the new official Howard County flag. The deadline to submit designs is Sunday, June 30th.

When the Howard County flag was adopted more than five decades ago, the county’s population was roughly 60,000 and the landscape was almost exclusively rural. Today, Howard County has a population of more than 335,000 and is among the most diverse, highly educated, and highest-earning counties in our nation. Our flag should represent the vibrancy and incredible diversity of our community. I invite all people with a connection to Howard County to pick up their medium of choice and craft a flag design. Who knows, your idea could be the flag that inspires people for years to come.

Calvin Ball
Howard County Executive

Participants must describe their personal connection to Howard County, including how they live, work, or play in the county. All ages are encouraged to participate, but parents or legal guardians must submit on behalf of individuals under 18.

Each submission must be accompanied by a brief narrative describing how the design represents Howard County, including its enduring appeal, symbolism, and color choices.  Designs should be rectangular in shape and crafted at a 3:5 ratio. Submissions will only be accepted digitally through the portal as full-color, high-resolution images.  

When crafting a submission, the Flag Commission recommends keeping the following five principles in mind, as outlined in "Good" Flag, "Bad" Flag by Ted Kaye:

  1. Keep it simple;
  2. Use meaningful symbolism;
  3. Use two or three basic colors;
  4. No lettering or seals; and 
  5. Be distinctive or be related.

Interested designers should review the Howard County Design Guidelines and Criteria for additional details prior to submitting.

We are excited to reach out to the public and tap into their creative talents to design a new flag,” said Coleen West, Executive Director of the Howard County Arts Council and Chair of the Howard County Flag Commission. “The Commission looks forward to receiving designs from artists, designers and community members of all ages and artistic abilities that demonstrate our civic pride and celebrate our histories, values and aspirations.

The Flag Commission will review designs received and select up to ten for a public vote in the fall. By the winter of 2025, the Commission will select three finalists and publish its recommendations. The County Executive will then evaluate the Commission’s recommendations and choose a design to present to the County Council for final approval. The adoption of a new flag requires legislative authorization. The three finalists will each receive an honorarium of $1,000 for their work.  

Questions or comments about the flag design and selection process may be directed in an email to [email protected]. To learn more about the Howard County Flag Commission, its upcoming meetings and the redesign process, visit www.howardcountymd.gov/flag.  

Media Contacts
Safa Hira, Director of Communications

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