FLYING HIGH: City’s new student-designed flag on display for first time

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GREENFIELD — There are new colors flying over Greenfield City Hall, as a new city flag designed by local high school students is on display for the first time.

The flag was designed by the members of the Mayor’s Youth Council, students at Greenfield-Central High School who advise Mayor Chuck Fewell on issues that affect youth. It was flown for the first time on Tuesday, Dec. 8, when the students helped hoist it alongside the American flag after the city’s board of works meeting.

“(Several) months ago, the Mayor’s Youth Council embarked upon a great venture to change the city flag because they thought it needed to be changed, and I agreed with them,” Fewell said at the meeting.

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The students worked with the city’s planning department on a plan to create a new design, including surveying students at the high school about whether they recognized the city flag.

Greenfield’s previous flag was not widely used. It featured a number of symbols, including a corncob representing agriculture, a mortar and pestle representing the local medical industry, a book representing poet James Whitcomb Riley, and a rising sun.

After conducting an initial survey and deciding a new flag design was needed, the youth council asked students to submit their designs.

“We took ideas from the students at Greenfield-Central High School,” Macy Huber, a member of the youth council, said. “We had about 70 ideas that were designed by many students, and we took them into our Mayor’s Youth Council meetings and narrowed them down to about eight.”

In February, the city council granted approval to a design the students called the “traditional” flag. The composition features a modified version of the Greenfield city seal, along with the slogan “Experience Our Past, Share Our Future,” against a background of green and gold. Within the center stripe is an image that evokes the six lighted poles that mark the Interstate 70/State Road 9 interchange.

Fewell said he was impressed by the students’ decisions on the project.

“It was a lengthy project, and they’ll have another one this (upcoming) year,” Fewell said. “…It’s a great opportunity, because they chose to come to council, they chose their projects, and I feel it gives us a great opportunity to see what the youth care about, what they want.”

Members of the Mayors’ Youth Council join as freshmen and work with the organization for four years. In the past, they have conducted other student surveys, including on what businesses students would like to see establish locations in Greenfield.

“I’m proud of this group, and I’ll tell you, they work hard,” Fewell said.

The city also plans to display the new flag at the centers of roundabouts around Greenfield and to allow businesses, schools and other locations to display it. Those interested in displaying the flag or otherwise using the design can contact senior planner Jenna Wertman at 317-325-1333.