The commission requested that designers observe the following rules when submitting their proposals:
- The design should be simple and colorful using up to three colors (and possible other symbols)
- Use meaningful symbolism: images, colors, and patterns should relate to what it symbolizes
- The overall design should be distinctive to distinguish it from other flags
- Submissions are required to include the county seal and the year the county was formed
The first three rules appear to be taken from the Five Basic Principles of Flag Design of NAVA.org. However, the last requirement completely ignores one of the principles:
4. No Lettering or Seals; never use writing of any kind or an organization’s seal.
Thus, my design did not follow all the rules demanded by the Commission. My conscience did not allow me to plonk down the county seal on my design 😉 . Below is my entry to the contest, submitted on August 30, 2017. Read underneath it for the meaning and symbolism of each item on the flag, as well as the final results!
Monongalia County Courthouse is the most distinctive and recognizable symbol of the county. Incorporated on the county seal, the courthouse is one that is loved by [county] residents and enjoyed by visitors. The year 1776 was included to signify the county creation by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on that year.
The golden rope encircling the courthouse is also derived from the county seal representing unity, continuity and connectivity of the “mother county” and its surrounding areas; including the northern West Virginia and several Pennsylvania counties.
The blue background represents patriotism and harmony. Blue is the color of water and the sky which is harmonious in the county landscape. It represents Monongahela River where the county takes its name. It also represents the first native settlers of the area, the Mound Builders (or the Adena people).
Alas! My entry did not take the price. A local Morgantown HS student won among 85 applicants of the design competition for the Monongalia County Flag. You can view the winning entry on one of my tweets. Nonetheless, I actually received an award for an honorable mention with a certificate and a small prize, so thank you Monongalia County Commission.
For your musings: