Sunday, Jul 22, 2001
By Melissa Leong
RAISE the flag -- we have a winner.
After much thought and artistic debate, readers have flagged a winner of the Free Press Fun with Flags contest. Congratulations, No. 22!
We were flooded with feedback -- 1,387 votes in the form of e-mails, letters and faxes that determined the top five flag designs. They are numbers 22, 7, 2, 24 and 32.
After the North American Vexillology Association released the results of a public survey announcing our provincial flag as the ugliest in the nation, we decided to hold a flag-design contest. Readers were invited to submit their version of a new Manitoba flag, just in case the province ever decides to replace its banner. Thirty-four finalists were chosen from more than 150 submissions. Then it was time for the vote.
Well, the results are in, and flag No. 22 -- the one with the stylish blue buffalo set against a golden sun -- takes first place.
Winning contestant Heather Jones' spirits never flagged. The 44-year-old unemployed multimedia designer beat out five prominent Manitoba artists and graphic designers in the contest.
"I enjoyed coming up with (the design). It was a bit of a pleasant surprise for me," said Jones from her Fort Rouge home.
Jones said she sketched and coloured for several days to come up with a flag to replace the current "outdated and busy" Manitoba flag.
"I wanted to stay with two colours to keep the colour scheme simple," she said. "Basically, the message was 'sunny Manitoba'. "I felt that the buffalo was the symbol that best represented the heritage of Manitoba.
It's a more stylized approach. I just wanted a little bit of flow to the drawing of the buffalo and something different than the graphic that the government of Manitoba uses," said Jones.