October 20, 2021

These 52 Flags Represent All 52 of Cincinnati's Unique Neighborhoods

There are few things that instill more loyalty in a Cincinnatian’s heart than where you went to high school, where you get your favorite chili and what side of town you call home. Henry Frondorf knows this better than anyone. He founded the Cincinnati Neighborhood Games in 2016, aka an Olympics-style extravaganza where neighborhood teams compete in events like cornhole, tug-of-war, hula-hoop endurance and super-sized Jenga. Flags of participating groups are typically waved at opening ceremonies, and the Cincinnati Neighborhood Games are no different. But at the inaugural event, Frondorf found that no neighborhood actually had their own flag to fly. This called for a little improvisation on Frondorf’s part. “Basically, I was up at 2 a.m. in my underwear designing these things before the neighborhood games,” he says. The idea for CincyFlags was born— Frondorf would design a flag for all 52 Cincy districts. He applied for an Engage Cincy Challenge Grant, “a unique community building competition” through the City of Cincinnati aimed at launching creative projects with the goal of bettering the community. But there was one hitch in the plan: He didn’t know anything about design. Enter a slew of local designers who helped create each flag, all while following the official rules according to the North American Vexillological Association (a real organization defined by their “common enthusiasm for flags”). The rules for a perfect flag are clear: 1. Keep it simple; 2. Use meaningful symbolism; 3. Use two or three basic colors; 4. No lettering or seals; and 5. Be distinctive or be related. Each flag design requested input from residents about what they valued most about their neighborhoods — and how they’d want their home visually represented. The flags were officially unveiled in Sept. of 2019. Find more information about CincyFlags here. 
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