I just looked at the nine city-flag finalists at duluthnewstribune.com and was quite dismayed. What am I missing here? How could these be the best entries?

There was nothing in any of them telling me they were flags that say "Duluth." If there has to be any explanation as to what a flag design means, then it is already useless. You shouldn't have to explain what they mean. If you do, they are not doing what they should do, which is to be instantly recognizable as a symbol our much-loved city.

What am I missing here that makes these the finalists? Perhaps I'm missing the purpose for which a banner was intended. Knowing that, for a sorta outsider, might make all the difference, in my opinion. Please advise.

Even though I live in Southern California, Duluth will always be my home. I read the paper online every day, talk about the city with family who still live there, and have a subscription to "Look at Lakeside." I have a view of the Pacific Ocean and see it every day, but it comes in second in my heart to Lake Superior. I truly want the city to shine and be recognizable in any and all PR. I'm really not trying to be critical or dumb about the flags. I would love an explanation as to what makes these finalists deserving of being finalists to set my heart and soul at ease.

At first glance, if this is the best that can be submitted for a new flag design, there clearly is a serious shortage of creativity in town, and I find that hard to believe.

I'd be most appreciative of any clarification someone can give me regarding this.

Joanne Newman

Redondo Beach, Calif.


The writer is a former Duluth resident.