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Change Is In The Wind

Design nerds want to give Columbus new stripe. Pop Quiz: What does the City of Columbus flag look like? If you don’t know, you’re not alone. And even if you do, you probably aren’t too excited about it. But maybe that can change, and should change. At least that’s the opinion of an army of armchair [...]
J.R. McMillan

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Design nerds want to give Columbus new stripe.

Pop Quiz: What does the City of Columbus flag look like?

If you don’t know, you’re not alone. And even if you do, you probably aren’t too excited about it. But maybe that can change, and should change. At least that’s the opinion of an army of armchair vexillologists (flag geeks), who think many of our obscure symbols of civic pride nationwide are overdue for an upgrade.

Citizens from Sioux Falls to Milwaukee are organizing campaigns and committees to rethink the most obvious, yet often inconspicuous, incarnation of their cities. As an emerging epicenter of arts and innovation, perhaps we should join them.

“I didn’t even realize what our city flag looked like. I’m sure I’d seen it before, but never really paid much attention to it,” confessed Paul Nini, OSU design professor, and creator of The People’s Flag of Columbus. “This situation of a city flag like we have is pretty common because they’re generally created by governments, not designers. They just have the official seal and whatever else they throw on there.”

Nini was inspired by Roman Mars, Newark native and host of the prolific design-focused podcast 99% Invisible. Mars also happened to be the keynote speaker at an industry conference Nini attended in 2015 and the idea stuck.

“I tried to follow the basic rules of what makes a great flag. The design should be simple and memorable and have meaning behind the forms,” he explained. “It has negative white spaces that come through the center representing Broad and High, with the star as a symbol that we’re the state capital. The fields of blue and green with a semicircle represent the Scioto River and the Franklinton peninsula, the heart of the city, the original area of downtown. Anything more complicated gets tricky.”

For those who may not know, the current city flag is only the latest incarnation, with several since its inception. Over time, it’s come to incorporate images of the statehouse, Buckeye leaves, and the Santa Maria, along with the typical eagle, stars, and other stuff shared by nearly every flag of the era. But it’s all so cluttered and compressed, you have to squint to even make any of it out.

In contrast, Ohio’s swallowtail burgee is the rock star of state flags, cited by historians and designers alike as a prime example of following the rules, but still breaking them. For more than a century, Ohio didn’t even have an official flag. But Cleveland architect John Eisenmann’s design and the symbolism behind it still feel modern, unlike the Columbus flag, despite being about the same age.

“The original proposal tried to use the original colors, to get the city interested in it,” Nini recalled. “This was before Ginther was elected mayor and was still City Council president. I talked to his chief of staff who essentially said, ‘This is nice, but it isn’t really on our radar.’”

Reluctance is pretty typical as well. The current design was created by a CPD officer, denoted by the shield. That and the contemporary controversy over the city’s namesake are where sentiment and sensitivity collide. Even if our flag wasn’t what critics call a “badge on a bed sheet,” changing it won’t be easy.

“That’s very different than a city like Chicago with its four six-pointed stars embraced by everyone, from city government to its citizens,” noted Nini. “They love it. They use it everywhere. It’s a symbol of pride for the city.”

Nini was raised in Clintonville and still calls it home, but a recent grad school reunion in Chicago only reinforced his resolve that Columbus is a city that is changing, and our flag should reflect that.

“I was at my alma mater and friends and faculty were saying, ‘We keep hearing how cool Columbus is now,’” he said. “That’s what’s happening, and our flag should be a symbol of the city and where we are going. Whether or not everyone is going to get behind it, I have no idea.”

Nini isn’t the only one vexed by our city flag, though his design does seem to have the most traction. There’s an alternate concept that maintains the current color scheme and features a compass rose, a more iconic reference to Christopher Columbus. There’s even a “Bad Flags” blog based in Columbus with the snarky suggestion of a giant ice cream cone as a more accurate and less divisive symbol for the city.

“I decided not to worry about the government and rebrand it ‘The People’s Flag’ and promote it that way—a path of least resistance,” he chided. “Having been involved in lots of things over the years—as a musician, I’ve been in bands—I’ve learned it’s always best to keep your expectations low, because then you don’t get too disappointed.”

All great ideas get pushback. But we live in a branded city in a branded age. Former Mayor Coleman had the foresight to enlist local agency Ologie to help define and design the city’s visual identity. The flag wasn’t included in that effort, perhaps a hint of how truly invisible municipal flags have become.

“Last summer, I finally found a place that would do on-demand printing and fabrication of flags. Everywhere else I found before would make the flags, but I’d have to buy like a hundred of them and handle all of the sales and shipping myself,” he said. “Now you can buy just one, for anyone who wants to fly it. There are also t-shirts, buttons, decals… if you don’t want to buy a flag, you can still show your support.”

Those supporters have swelled beyond his students and the creative community, and literally letting folks put his idea into the wind has been a winning strategy in other cities where initial proposals to update their flags also fell flat. It’s a battle of attrition, but not a bitter one.

“Having grown up here in the ’60s and ’70s, the city has grown up too. People love the city now and appreciate it for what it’s become,” Nini said, hoping that organic adoption and a few influential brand champions can find the inroads that have thus far remained elusive. “If I drive by homes and local businesses that are flying the flag with pride, that’s the point. A flag should be something people can rally around, a brand that brings communities together. Even if the city doesn’t see it yet, hopefully they will.

For more on The People’s Flag of Columbus, visit columbuspeoplesflag.wordpress.com.

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Community

Oh Snap! Local photo studio helping bring Columbus’ imagination to life

614now Staff

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SPONSORED

We can only count on our memories to preserve moments so much, and word of mouth can only get us so far. Sometimes, a message needs to be captured with a shutter and presented with an image.

At Zurïe Studio you can bring your imagination to life and preserve special moments in one beautiful place at a reasonable price. The space features a sun-soaked studio and clean aesthetic, allowing the subjects of your photos to command the screen without distraction.

The studio also offers paper backdrops, stools, and minimal props to amplify your project, mini session, or photo shoot. All outside props are welcome, too, with a loading dock to make setup a breeze.

Speaking of mini, (614) Kids Club has teamed up with Zurïe to offer a FREE Family Holiday Mini Photography Session! Join us December 7th from 10am-Noon at Zurïe to have your picture snapped by LA + Co Photography.

This event is open to the public (as long as you get your ticket in advance), but (614) Kids Club members will receive:

  • (614) Kids Club Members get to skip the line
  • Two digital prints of their minis – for FREE

Click here to learn more and reserve your spot!

Whether it's head shots for the office, new products you want to promote, a creative vision that keeps you up at night, or just trying to get one nice picture of your family acting like the love one another, Zurïe is passionate about the people of Columbus, and will work with you to create something beautiful and memorable.

Zurïe Studio is conveniently located at 3477 N High St. in Clintonville, directly behind the new Katalina’s. They are open 8am- 5pm every day by appointment. To learn more and book your rental, visit zurie.co.

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Sports

The Big Ten: 10 reasons why Jim Harbaugh is an absolute nutcase

1870 Staff

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There’s no question Jim Harbaugh is a weirdo. He’s been caught picking his nose on the sidelines, he essentially wears the same outfit every single day no matter the occasion, and his personality is about as bright as a military general on cocaine. In other words, Harbaugh is set in his ways, and his ways are strange as shit.

But there’s more to this man’s madness than booger flicking and khaki pants. He’s a weirdo that wears many hats (but not many different variation of pants). And we have 10 reasons to prove it to you.

1.) Jim Harbaugh, the Spongebob fanatic.

To quote the coach on a radio show in Ann Arbor, “I love his attitude. He attacks each day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind! I’ve kind of modeled my behavior after him. We all should. What a great employee he is. He’s a go-getter. He’s always got a bounce to his step. He’s got pizzazz. He puts his heart and soul into making those krabby patties. I think he’s awesome.” Uhhh, sure. Whatever you say, man.

2.) Jim Harbaugh, the house guest.

“Mom, can coach Harbaugh stay the night tonight?” Those were (probably) the words of Michigan’s current kicker, Quinn Nordin, as well as the defensive end from USC, Connor Murphy. In an effort to get the two recruits to commit to Michigan, Harbaugh took trips to visit the athletes. Perfectly normal. What’s not normal is Harbaugh crashing at the recruits house for the night. Dude, you are the third highest paid coach in college football. You’re either too cheap to buy a hotel, or you’re too odd to realize this was a weird ass move.

3.) Jim Harbaugh, the music man.

If you haven’t had the luxury of watching this music video, put this magazine down and pull up YouTube. Rap duo, Bailey, produced a Michigan hype song to promote the 2016 season titled “Who Has It Better Than Us?” which featured Harbaugh literally screaming those exact words for the chorus. This is just as much weird (Harbaugh’s rap career isn’t looking good) as it is ironic as the Wolverines would go on to lose to Ohio State and in their bowl game against Florida State. We can think of at least two schools that have it better than ya’ll…

4.) Jim Harbaugh, the conspiracy theorist.

He said they were a “nervous bird.” We’re not even gonna attempt to explain this. Here’s what a former Michigan quarterback, Wilton Speight, had to say to Bleacher Report about the hate against chickens: “He thinks some type of sickness injected its way into the human population when people began eating white meats instead of beef and pork. And he believes it, 100 percent.” … Riiiiight.

5.) Jim Harbaugh, the babysitter.

Turns out that fateful night he stayed with Connor Murphy wasn’t the first time. Harbaugh has stayed at the Murphy residence in the past, when he was a head coach at Stanford, to recruit Murphy’s brother, Trent. During the night, Connor and Trent’s mother went into labor forcing the father to take her to the hospital to give birth. As for Harbaugh and, at the time, 12-year-old Connor? Here’s what Connor told the LA Times: “Coach Harbaugh sat on my living room floor with me and we drank milk and played chess.”

6.) Jim Harbaugh, the patriotic music man.

If coaching doesn’t work, it seems like Harbaugh is eyeing a career in music. In 2016, rapper Lil Dicky came to Ann Arbor to preform. For reasons we have absolutely no way of understanding, Lil Dicky brought Harbaugh on stage to… sing the national anthem? And, as on brand as the mother fucker is, he was wearing those damn khakis for the performance. He probably flicked a few boogers backstage, too.

7.) Jim Harbaugh, the president?

Apparently rapper Wale and Jim Harbaugh are cooking something up for a presidential run. In 2016, Wale tweeted at the TTUN coach and endorsed him for a presidential campaign. Harbaugh responded back eager to bring Wale on as his Vice President. Let’s play a game, Buckeye Nation, would you rather have Trump as president, or Harbaugh?

8.) Jim Harbaugh, the khakis man.

We all know how much the man loves his Dockers, but do you really know how deep that love runs? The man worksout in his khakis. We’re sure that never gets too sweaty. The man swims—SWIMS!!—in his khakis. And he’s even been spotted running around the practice field shirtless showing off that pasty-white dad bod, but still in those damned khakis.

9.) Jim Harbaugh, the dietician.

We already know the man hates chickens, but did you know how much he loves cows? Almost as much as he loves khakis, believe it or not. Harbaugh is convinced that milk and steak are a “natural steroid.” Here’s what Harbaugh had to say about his affinity to “natural steroids” on a radio show in Ann Arbor: “I take a vitamin every day. It’s called a steak. … I truly believe the No. 1 natural steroid is sleep, and the No. 2 natural steroid is milk, whole milk. Three would be water. Four would be steak. [Steak] … it goes with everything.”

10.) Jim Harbaugh, the actor.

Why not? He’s a president, a singer, a rapper, a babysitter, and even a Spongebob stan. Of course he’s made a few appearances on television. The first time was on Saved By The Bell where he didn’t even get an excited “woo!” from the fake audience when he came on screen. Screech gets one every time he’s on camera and he’s a main character. The other time was when Harbaugh showed his true side on Detroiters for a skit. He loses his shit during a tailgating style game and ends up drilling the main character in the back of the head with a football. Okay so the Detroiters skit is actually kind of funny.•

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Sports

Top 5 times Ohio State broke Michigan’s heart in The Game

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Curtis Samuel Shows off His Madden Moves (2016)

For all Buckeye fans, this moment is unforgettable. After going down to Michigan in the second quarter, the two teams matched blows all game and even ended up in double overtime. After J.T. Barrett converted a fourth down, Curtis Samuel 15-yards to seal the win. Not only was Samuel’s TD amazing, it also cemented the Bucks’ place in the College Football Playoff while keeping TTUN out. Two birds with one stone.

Game of the Century (2006)

In the final iteration of the Buckeyes led by Troy Smith and Ted Ginn, Jr., the Buckeyes did not disappoint. This game had perhaps the largest implications of any on this list, because everyone in America pretty much knew that the winner would advance to the BCS National Championship game. Also: who could forget both Beanie Wells and Antonio Pittman going 50+ yards for touchdowns in the same game?

Ohio State Can’t Go to a Bowl Game… But They Also Aren’t Going to Lose (2012)

While Ohio State was dealing with a ban from bowl games, they didn’t stop wrecking opponents, and Michigan was no exception. Heading into the game, Michigan was the No. 20 team in the nation and had hopes for a win over their rival as well as moving up in the rankings to get a more prestigious bowl game. The Wolverines got neither.

Tyvis Powell is Clutch as Hell (2013)

This was one of the more competitive games in recent history. After being tied at halftime, the Bucks and Wolverines continued to trade blows until the very last moment. At the end of the game, Devin Gardner threw a touchdown to Devin Funchess to bring Michigan within 1 point and set up for a PAT. However, Michigan gambled for the win by going for two, and Tyvis Powell shut them down. It’s basically the Ohio State football equivalent of LeBron James’ block on Andre Iguodala in the 2016 NBA Finals, except Ohio State actually ended up winning.

Beat Michigan, then Win The Championship (2002)

Going into the game as the #2 team in the nation, Ohio State had amassed 12 wins before facing off against their bitter rival and were working on one of the best seasons in college football history. Seeing as Michigan had played spoiler to the Bucks’ perfect seasons three times in the ’90s, it felt like Michigan could keep Ohio State out of the BCS national championship, but Will Allen had other plans. With time expiring, Allen snagged an interception near the end zone that prevented the Wolverines from scoring a game winning touchdown. After that, Ohio State went on to beat Miami and win the BCS national championship. Talk about a story book ending for the Bucks — and a nightmare for the Wolverines.

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