Posts Tagged ‘Milwaukee Flag’

Before anyone in Milwaukee gets bent out of shape about the up and coming People’s Flag: I need every Milwaukeean no matter what age or generation to closely listen up. Even if you moved out or just don’t know. I don’t know why I’m talking about this. But, whatever.

It seems to me that this whole while, we’ve been talking about a Flag. The city’s current flag being a “hot mess”, outdated and not up to par of the current status of what’s going on now. It ain’t hip, I know.

For this, I unlike many, who didn’t took the time to read about the history of things of how it came to be. Let me put it like this: many of you are “flag sensitive” about this. But I’m here to help you about the meaning behind the “so called worst flag” for the Brew City from my point of view, with facts.

OK. Let’s start with this.

Stop the sensitive crap and grow up. Let’s go over to see what this so-called “hot mess” actually means. Like many of things, I’m going from left to right.

Starting from the left: That funny looking yellow thing there represents wheat and barley. All that beer you drink from MillerCoors or Pabst comes from that. Moving on, is the old Milwaukee County Stadium. And I’m assuming who used to play there. The next building as many know is the Panther Arena. Or for you old heads: the MECCA. Towards the center is a building we see near 200 East Wells Street is City Hall. Another building towards the right is more industrial buildings of the same meaning of industrialization. The boat with the water waves shown symbolizes the port. As in the Port of Milwaukee. Port of Goods. And many of you got offended by this cross. To be specific, that almost resembles the Basilica neighborhood on the South Side. And I know many have been there besides morning mass. It’s a church, folks.

The “1846” is what you ask? The founding year of the city. The big cog in the center is the main feature in which it is symbolic for manufacturing history. Like our Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, and other manufacturing parts we produced here. And currently.

Inside of the Cog, are three symbols. One of them is a head of a Native American. Let’s be calm here, its yet to believe that is symbolic of it’s connections of it’s earlier settlers whom happened to be Native Americans. How do you think Milwaukee got it’s name? Its also saying, millioke , the Good Land.

The little flag for most almost resembles a service flag or a Civil War-Era flag. And the last mini symbol in contrast has a connection to the Milwaukee Public Library.

Now for all of the “flag sensitive folks”, I need to ask, do you all get that? Is this making sense? I had to research this over and over again just to get a sense of understanding of what this is without learning a darn thing!

Of course many will not know because many will not do their homework! Like I said, do your research, please.

Other questions loom up. Now I know this has to be far fetching, but what about the family of the creators that designed and made the city flag? Did anyone from the common council community, mayor’s office, or the people’s flag folks ever talked to them? I would speak on that. The descendants of the late Alderman Fred Steffan needs to be contacted face to face. Why I’m referencing them you ask? I think would be benefiting that Mayor Tom Barrett, the entire Milwaukee Common Council, the Milwaukee Arts Board, the representatives of the People’s Flag of Milwaukee, historians and most of all, the family of the late Alderman needs to have a “city flag conference” about stating why the city flag would be updated with the current design. The family I believe, needs to be contacted. I don’t know the family, but if I were one of the committee members or flag art reps, I would bring them into the conversation. The descendants are still out there and one of them did an interview with the Journal Sentinel several years ago about this subject. And I mentioned that subject here.

Well earlier today, there was a public discussion about the flag and it’s objective use. I’m talking about the people’s flag here. And yes, the creators gave their incentive about the reason why it was chosen, from the brainstorming of young and old, even black folks that shocked me a bit. The 1,000 designs and then the main five chosen for finals. The one got picked on Flag Day 2016 came to this:

Yes this is the flag that was chosen. According to the creation of this, it’s description as follows via the website:
The flag is horizontally divided orange-dark blue. In the center is placed a disk, whose upper part, located on the orange stripe, is white, and whose lower part, located on the blue stripe, is lighter blue with two horizontal dark blue stripes.The meaning of the flag is the following: “The sun rising over Lake Michigan symbolizes a new day. The light blue bars in its reflection represent the city’s three rivers and founding towns. Gold symbolizes our brewing history and white represents the city united.”

During the Common Council Meeting, which you can see via the City’s website, yes there were talks about symbolism. The “sunrise” for example was inspired believe it or not is from an unlikely source: the City of Milwaukee’s Seal.

Look at the center of the seal. What you see is a house, a tower like structure of a lighthouse, a human figure that probably resembles a founder or settler. But the viewpoint by the land, is Lake Michigan. And the Sun is rising over the Lake. So yes, that is where the People’s Flag folks got parts of it’s Sunrise from: The city’s seal.

And yes there talks about flags giving power or meaning. There were references of the American Flag with the colors of Red, White and Blue. The Red and White Stripes signify the Original 13 Colonies with meanings of Hardness/Valor for the Red, and the Purity/Innocence for the color White. As far as the Blue: Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice. And the 50 stars, which represents the States. And for the record, Old Glory is not being replaced. That is thrown out. Stop the hype on that!

After all the questions and comments, there were some additional comments about taxpayers, the funding, sensitivity, branding, ownership, design creation copyrights, new identification, etc. But there will be additional talks for another couple of months towards the end of the year to see where the idea goes from here.

My advice: those ideas I described earlier, probably needs to happen. And for the record, not everyone uses the internet, texting or Social Media. And I would like to see if possible, put that on the ballot. Since it’s a “people’s project,” put it where the people can decide in voting. A referendum. And of course, talk it over with the whole city! Not just the usual 6,000 plus that represents Milwaukee online! The population is well over 600,000.

And if officially, the “S” in my Stephen’s Spot Photo logo and cover photo might change the colors of the ideal flag. Don’t call me a fan yet. The jury is still out.


With the spring in full swing of the season, it’s time for another Three Way Dance: With all the things I’ll talk about, two of the subjects will be Milwaukee related: the ongoing Leon’s Custard English Only debate, and this thing of the Milwaukee Flag. Plus a black employee at Home Depot got hated on all because the message: “America Was Never Great.” Time to boogie!

First Card: I’m sure in the country had heard or been to Milwaukee’s custard landmarks: Leon’s.

I’m sure many got the custards, the ice creams and a whole lot of stuff that many know. But most recently, as mostly everyone knows, Leon’s had been underfire due to their rule on “English Only”. Here is the thing: Leon’s is on Milwaukee’s South Side, in which that you will hear mostly is Spanish. Yep, you will hear spanglish over and over and yes, you will hear english. But the thing is, what made this legendary custard company, that is WELL KNOWN around Milwaukee, the Midwest, would go to a length to say, “Oh, you have to speak english here!” Techncially when you hear stuff like this, I would say that it’s insulting. No question that this is not just in Milwaukee. We know. Now, if this for those who think it’s most recent, it’s been happening for a long time. Part of this, and mostly it’s pure ignorance. Just admit it, Leon’s.

Now I’ve been to Milwaukee’s SouthSide and yes I’ve been to Leon’s once. Yep. One time. With me being Northside born, I’ve been to Kitts Frozen Custard near 74th and Capitol Drive, and also Copp’s on the far South Side. Yeah I know those places very well, as well as Culver’s. But however, this so-called ruling of English Only though, not cool for business. And the owner goes on TV and says his wife is Spanish, in all of this. REALLY!

When I go to the South Side, like Walmart on 27th, I hear folks not only speak english, but also spanish. I see English and Spanish words all over the store and I don’t hear all the so-call hate about everyone speaking english! Again, for Leon’s in my opinion, is not good for business. Now, the owner goes on camera and the media and says to the employees that help the customers out. What!! Oh now he wants to help the folks out. Ain’t that hypocritical! Will this lose customers? Already there are defections to another Ice Cream Restaurant that Leon’s had this mistake. Yep it happens.

Second Card: The on going Milwaukee Flag Saga.

America: This is what we Milwaukeeans are talking about somewhat changing up:


This is the current flag of the City of Milwaukee. Yes, this is Milwaukee’s City Flag and have been adopted since 1954. Now to the average folk, this is what we’re wasting our time on. A flag!

Historically, Milwaukeeans had made assumptions about having a new flag to display. Which goes all the way back to about the late 1800’s. Back then, there were designers that wanted to see a new flag to fly. Actually it was around Halloween in 1897 courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In it, there was a contest that had about 50 designs, and the winning design at the time was to receive $15.00 for the chosen project. That chosen project was awarded to at the time, to the late resident of John Amberg and his pick of the flag had “Steady Progress” printed on the front to symbolize the city at it’s reflection of it’s objective. That was his pick: “Steady Progress”. Which was chosen in early 1898.

Speaking of the that: does Milwaukee need “Steady Progress” now? I’m not talking on a T-Shirt or a newer enhanced meaningful flag! I’m talking “Steady Progress” in everyday life! Even faced with Segregation, Fear, Unemployment, and any thing negative that Milwaukee currently harbors. Even also with all this messed up mentality of Carjackings, English Only strict rules, job developers making stupid comments and fearful remarks of making folks not coming back, and not even for the umteenth time (SPOILER ALERT) of not having an African World Festival AGAIN for the city!

If you agree with me, say “Steady Progress”!

This whole thing really started (in a 2016 way) that many had to go in on the flag as being horrible. And many words in a negative sense. Many in Milwaukee, even that radio DJ/designer that started the “hot mess” arguement, probably didn’t know much about the flag’s history. But the daughter of the late alderman, Marian Steffan Koch, related to Alderman Fred Steffan commented the so-called “hot mess” comment:

“The symbols on the flag represented Milwaukee heritage,” she said in an email. “Yes, the flag is outdated. BUT … nobody has come up with a better design in the last 60 years, so I wouldn’t call the flag a ‘train wreck.'”

So those symbols on the Milwaukee flag represented the city’s heritage. Heritage of port, manufacturing, the good land, downtown, recreation, barley, and others. But did Roman Mars knew that? NOPE!

I’ll bet that he and many others, probably looked at the flag and made the remark of “Oh this flag sucks! What’s the purpose of this? Who made this crap?”

Folks, before you criticize all that hate about symbolism, know what it means, ok? Frankly, I don’t give a darn about this flag contest by June 14th, BUT if I were to design a flag for Milwaukee, it would actually mean something. Something like a past/present feel to it with the city’s seal or a well known symbol with the year 1846 on it. 1846 was the year that the city was founded. I say, keep the blue, have the seal of the city on the flag and have 1846 on the side.

But for historical reasons, I’m not touching it.

Third dance on the card: “America Was Never Great.”

I believe we’ve seen this:


Oh and the comments that went nuts. Folks on Facebook telling her to go back on a boat where she came from, and prompting her to be fired just because she had a hat on that says that message. Do they still have jobs? Hope not. And plus I’m deeply suprised that Home Depot stood up for the testamony as basis on that thing called the truth as mentioned above. Even to the still brainwashed minded of Fox News viewers. Yeah I said it!

I had to laugh at these “so-called” Patriots who shop at Home Depot and got all offended with a College Senior whom is about to graduate soon, whom works at Home Depot, get so pissed about her hat. What is up with black women and hats this year? We had Lalah Hathaway around Easter, wearing her late father’s Alpha Phi Alpha hat, and the Alphas went ballistic over her daddy’s hat. Divine Nine is that talk done?

Now we comeback to 22 year old Krystal Lake, whom is wearing the “America Was Never Great” hat, and the yahoo’s who somewhat love America mostly, had to call her out with death threats. ARE YOU CRAZY?! Over a hat! You guys whom are doing it are a joke! Ok, so the hat pissed you off but don’t know the real meaning behind the message. How sad.

Don’t like Home Depot all because of a Hat? You shouldn’t like them when your debit cards accounts got messed up when you made your transactions! Oh, don’t tell me you were crying about that.

Wait until I have to say about this more on the 4th of July. Plus also, the meaning behind the message, in my opinion that even though America had made some “GREAT” strides in it’s almost 240 years, and yes it made “GREAT” discoveries and also “GREAT” whatevers, but some of those underground stories of slavery, racism, can’t decide if folks want to be married in a “same sex” and or “interracial” type of thing, or being educated in the same schools, or attending the same church in a non-segregated or segregated hour, or many other things like killing unarmed black men or killing civil rights leaders who spoke the the truth, or preventing others to join clubs of fraternities or sororities due to skin color or humilitation, or making death threats over a HAT, guess what: NOT THAT GREAT! And you got a guy like Donald Trump running around with “Make America Great Again” things on his head and having folks being kicked out or mangeled. Man please! Like my former pastor used to say: sign of the end time.

So yes, America maybe labeled as “the land of opportunity” or “the greatest country on earth” in the eyes of many. But for some: The struggle continues! Even you hate Home Depot. Now I hear Lowe’s is open as well as Ace Hardware, and Menards. But if they pop up with some “America Ain’t Shiznit!” on their hats or buttons in a non-politicial plight, where you going to run next?