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'People's Flag' vote stalls in city committee

Posted: 8:17 PM, Jul 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-20 13:00:57Z

Milwaukee isn't getting a new flag any time soon. The Steering & Rules Committee met Thursday afternoon to hear from The People's Flag Initiative about changing the city's flag.

The current flag was chosen back in 1955 and there have been two different proposals to change it, but those were not successful.

The 6-2 vote from the committee has pushed the People's Flag to the Arts Board for discussion. 

Steve Kodis is the leader for the new flag movement and says he's not upset with the ruling.  

"It's not a no. It's not a yes. It's a pause," said Kodis. "There has to be some sort of deliberation. It can't just be pushed through."

The group has been working towards this meeting for close to four years says Kodis. Flag designer Robert Lenz shares a similar view to Kodis. Since the committee didn't outright reject the flag, there's still a chance. 

"I think that's a fine thing," said Lenz. "They can make a good decision about this I have confidence."

While Alderman Khalif Rainey lists the Brewers and breweries like MKE IPA as big fans of the flag, Alderman Bob Bauman argued that large segments of his district were not counted in the initiative's 6,000 plus vote on the new flag. Alderman Bauman says many of his constituents do not support changing the current flag. 

Alderwoman Milele Coggs points out that Reno, Nevada's flag looks too similar to the proposed flag. Kodis argues the city stole their design and moved faster within their judicial system to make their flag official. However, Alderwoman Coggs wasn't convinced.  

"Regardless of if Reno followed us or not the fact is they are strikingly similar," said Alderwoman Coggs. 

The committee says they must hear a decision from the Arts Board by December of this year. Afterward, the Steering & Rules Committee will use that decision in bringing the flag vote back to a meeting in 2019.