Copenhagen needs a great flag. And we don’t have one. We have something like it, but not a really nice and well designed flag. So let’s go – let’s get a competition going let’s make this happen. 

My son is 9 years old. He loves the geography, flags, country facts and cities. We live just outside Copenhagen. And yes, my daily dinner talks, about what i do all day, probably influenced him in some degree. But he really loves the idea of cities and symbols.

Two months ago I showed him a storyboard from at advertising idea we were working on in the office. He picked it up pretty quick, and came back with more ideas and drawings that same day. So i gave him a job. I said. “Copenhagen does not have a flag – help me design one”

So he took off immediately. He shared the idea with some of his classmates, and within a week he bombarded me with sketches and ideas. They were really complex, crazy and detailed, and none of them worked for a flag. But the proces was great.

Just today, i listened to my all time favorite podcast, 99% invisible, hosted by the fabulous Roman Mars. If you don’t know it – start listening NOW.

Roman Mars gave a TED talk in Vancouver a couple of months ago, and the video is finally online. It’s a talk about flag design, and only that. In the talk Roman shows some pretty grim examples of cities and regions going flag crazy. As in everything else, there is good and bad (and very) bad flag design.

So it made me think. Copenhagen needs a flag!

Today all we have is a symbol. Well actually we have two. The first one is just a seal or logo from the municipality, and the second is unofficial, and from the freetown of Christiania (a free, hippie-like residential area in Copenhagen) Any guess which is the more popular one of those two?

Roman Mars has this great point:

“As we move more and more into cities, a city flag becomes more than just a symbol for that place. It becomes a symbol of how a city considers design in all aspects, it’s infrastructure, it’s parks and signage” “By having a bad flag that we don’t use, (or no flag at all) we seed that territory to sports teams, chambers of commerce and (god forbid) tourism bureaus”

So, I’m thinking an open design competition. Something to rally around. Something to give back to the community. Everyone from kindergarden toddlers to high end graphic designers can chip in.

I’ll get back to the formalities later – i just wanted to share the thoughts.

Here they are:

Municipality of Copenhagen