Enumclaw officials refine design of community flags

The town of Enumclaw could soon adopt its first-ever municipal flag, and your chance to comment on the final designs is just around the corner.

Authorities announced the municipal flag contest last October, and by the December deadline, the city had received approximately 50 submissions from professional and amateur vexillologists from across the country, Plateau residents, and most importantly, students. locals of all ages.

“I think myself, Alina, and the mayor were all very surprised by the number of submissions,” said parks and recreation director Michelle Larson, who took over from cultural programs and events coordinator, Alina Hibbs. “I think my favorite part of reading the submissions was not just the creativity and knowledge of flag design, but reading the stories… Seeing the different things people identify with our community was very cool.”

But in the end, no matter how many great designs are submitted, only one will be chosen.

First, the city’s Arts Commission on January 5 whittled down the long list to just eight models — the ones you see above.

According to Larson, the commission narrowed the playing field by considering the simplicity and uniqueness of the designs, and the strength with which the flag’s symbols and colors connect to the Enumclaw community.

Tomorrow (January 18), the Public Service Commission will issue its official opinion and send the final designs to the city council.

The board, in turn, will discuss (and possibly approve) the final design at the January 24 meeting; it appears the only opportunity for residents to comment on the final designs will be during the public comment period.

“I just want to thank everyone who took the time and went through the process of designing and submitting their design,” Mayor Jan Molinaro said in an email interview. “Someone will have their design on our city’s flag to hopefully last for generations.”

Larson wanted to make sure she specifically thanked all the young people who had submitted a drawing.

“I hope they had a lot of fun with the project,” she said.

The final design may undergo some changes and modifications deemed necessary by the city council or the graphic designer who will help create the final product.


Zachary Mullen

Zachary, a fourth-grade student at Westwood Elementary, designed his flag as a school project after completing his required work. His teacher said many other students threw a flag, but he was one of the few who persevered until the end.

In his explanatory statement, Zachary said the red and blue stars represent America, with red signifying “love, life, energy and youth” and blue signifying “well-being” and “trust.”

Green, he continues, “means strength, health, [and] peace” while black “means seriousness, strength, sharpness, [and] modern power.

Kira Hawaaboo

Hawaaboo is a senior at Enumclaw High and is the school’s president of the National Art Honor Society; this was an optional assignment she took for her government class AP (Advanced Placement).

“I love art and this felt like a great opportunity to dive deeper into Enumclaw and bring out my creative side,” she said in an email interview.

According to Hawaaboo, its flag “shows the forest and greenery of Enumclaw” through the two evergreen trees at its edges, “with a representation of the farming community of Enumclaw through the footprint of the cow”, has she wrote in her explanatory statement to the city.

Marti Berret

Berrett submitted several flag designs, playing with various color schemes and text.

The drawing chosen by the Arts Commission is a scene from his youth.

“I grew up riding in the foothills of Mount Rainier, climbing through fences and walking barefoot across the field to my grandmother’s house,” she wrote in her explanatory statement. “The beautiful mountain range and pastures full of dairy cows are iconic symbols of my childhood home.”

Berrett calls Enumclaw home, although she currently resides in Hawaii.

“I guess that makes Hawaii my home away from home,” she said in an email interview.

Athanasius Koh

Unlike the other semi-finalists, Koh has never been to Enumclaw, but he has been admiring Mount Rainier for years from the city of Singapore, where he lives.

“As an avid hiker with some knowledge of famous Mount Rainier and surrounding areas, as well as a huge fan of flags (or vexillology), this contest seemed right up my alley,” he wrote. in an email interview, adding that he learned about the contest through social media website Reddit. “If I have the privilege of earning the trust of the residents of Enumclaw to be their flag designer, it would be a great honor to work with them to create something that truly symbolizes Enumclaw and that they can be proud of.

Its flag design was inspired by Enumclaw’s unofficial label as “the gateway to Mount Rainier”.

“The flag features a symmetrical and simplified representation of Mount Rainier and the trees found in the surrounding area,” he wrote in his explanatory memorandum. “The tree also resembles the shadow of Mount Rainier with the town of Enumcalw, represented by the star, at the very heart of it. A blue and white background represents the colors of the sky and snow as well as the peace, harmony and determination of the community.

Kyle Miller

Miller, who moved to Enumclaw about a year ago, used his graphic design skills when creating his design.

“The colors of this flag design are an ode to nature and to Enumclaw’s rich agricultural history,” he wrote in his explanatory memorandum; green, the dominant color of the design, represents the nature that surrounds the city, while golden yellow “is a nod to the agricultural industry on which our community was founded” (as well as the “beautiful sunrises and sunsets”). Finally, white “represents the purity of the open space and nature in which we are privileged to live”.

Like many of the designs submitted, as well as several of the semi-final designs, Mt. Rainier is front and center.

“Enumclaw is the gateway to Mount Rainier and the gold box and gold intersecting shapes bring the eye to the center of the flag, representing an entrance into the mountain,” he wrote.

The tree, of course, represents the surrounding nature, especially the city’s proximity to several state parks.

“It points (north) toward the mountain because Enumclaw is the entrance to the two northern entrances to Mount Rainier National Park,” Miller added.

Tom Clayton and Paige Hancuff

Clayton and Hancuff’s design is one of the most detailed submissions, using highly stylized trees, various shades on Mount Rainier and, of course, the city’s Logging Legacy memorial located in the heart of downtown.

Both wanted their flag to be a journey through history, from the sun, to the mountains, to the forest that Enumclaw once was, to the Danish heritage that helped found Enumclaw as a city (represented by the Danish flag at the bottom), and finally, the sculpture, installed in 2007.

“Most of the flags we have seen are indescribable, having a secret meaning to those they represent,” the two wrote. “Ours is eternal. Distinct and sharp.

Hancuff and his family purchased the Enumclaw Copy Center in late 2020, returning to PNW after many years of homelessness on the west coast. She and Clayton met downtown while discussing poetry and decided to submit a flag design together.

Ray Miller Still

Although the Arts Commission generally declined to consider flags incorporating text, Larson said they included the Courier-Herald editor’s flag because of the story behind it.

The text at the bottom of the design is Lushootseed, the dialect of the local Muckleshoot tribe. This particular phrase, translated from English by Muckleshoot language teacher Elise Bill-Gerrish, means “gateway to Mount Rainier” and is associated with the arch above the mountain.

In his explanatory statement, Miller-Still said he wanted the city flag to use Luchootseed “to recognize that there is a history to the mountain and to this land that goes back to time immemorial.”

Together, the text and the arch above form a circle, which “represents the Enumclaw community for what it strives to be – healthy, inclusive and sustainable, even in the most difficult times”.

The field of green represents the local farming and forestry communities, and the fields of blue around the edges of the flag symbolize the White and Green rivers, which help distinguish Enumclaw’s borders.

Evan Moule

The latest semi final design, created by Enumclaw High 11th grader Moulden, features Mount Rainier and an evergreen tree on a field of brown to represent how Enumclaw is a “wooden town” due to the importance that logging has had on the economy and structure of the town of Enumclaw. ”

The Courier-Herald emailed Moulden for further information, but did not receive a response by the print deadline.

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