Opinion: City of Newton is taking right path to find flag design

Process is key in any large-scale community-wide project. We have had no problem pointing out when the city of Newton missteps in the past, but today isn’t that day, as it is our opinion that the process they are going through to pick the city’s flag is the correct one and something everyone should embrace and be excited about.

We understand that some in the city think we already have a flag. The one you see flying at Back Alley Pizza and being sold in Norm’s. We love those establishments and we appreciate their zeal for wanting to improve the community we all live in.

Ashleigh Lakey’s “We Are Newton” campaign comes from a good place and her desire to inspire her community should be something celebrated.

Thank her for what she does next time you buy a coffee, please.

We understand her and others’ desire to see the flag they chose adopted as the city’s official flag. But we worry that if the city did that, there wouldn’t be widespread adoption from the community.

It would look like a small group of people made a choice the whole community wasn’t given a chance to give their input on and that isn’t good governance.

We appreciate the city of Newton not blindly choosing that flag without a process. A group was put together, a steering committee was formed, and time for community input was established. This was the right move.

We can prove that, too.

Hutchinson recently went through the same process and it has been a success in our eyes and those who participated. There are murals on Main Street, merchandise sold throughout town and lots of Hutchinson flags on cars and flown throughout town.

Those who formed the group consulted with Hutchinson and other communities on how their process worked and why it was successful. Newton is emulating those processes and we believe, because of that, once a flag is chosen the community will adopt it in mass.

A flag has the opportunity to bring the community together unlike anything else. Even if we didn’t go to Newton High School, we can fly Newton’s flag without it being a high school thing. They have their own stuff, anyway.

Not all of us went to Newton High School, attended Bethel College, go to the same church, or attend the same gatherings. We all live here and can take pride in our community, though.

The flag project can show that and we are glad there will be a process the whole community can partake in. We encourage everyone to read our story about the flag and to give your input.

If done properly, this flag could be flying in Newton forever.

—Harvey County Now Editorial Board

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