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Bismarck, North Dakota (U.S.)

Burleigh County

Last modified: 2018-08-02 by rick wyatt
Keywords: bismarck | north dakota | burleigh county |
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[Flag of Bismarck, North Dakota] 3:5 image(s) by permission of David B. Martucci
image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright.



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Current Flag

Text and image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright. Image(s) from American City Flags by permission of David B. Martucci.

Design

Bismarck’s flag is a horizontal bicolor, 3 units by 5 units. The stripes are white over red, each of 1.25 units, and are surrounded by a yellow border .25 units wide, except at the hoist, where the border is .5 units wide. Centered on the white stripe is the legend BISM✩RCK, in dark blue letters .4 units high. The five-pointed star that replaces the “A” in the name is distorted slightly so that the top point is slightly longer than the others; it has a gold interior, with the outline of the star in dark blue. Set at the hoist is a large dark blue disk 1.25 units in diameter, half of which is on the white stripe, and half on the red stripe. Within the disk, and almost to its inner edge, is a circle formed of a gold wheat stalk, the stem of which starts at 9 o’clock; the grains of wheat begin at 6 o’clock and complete the circle. Within the circle thus formed by the wheat is a large five-pointed white star, two points of which extend toward the edge of the wheat stem at 9 and 7 o’clock. The points at 12 and 3 o’clock extend to where the wheat grains join the stem. The remaining point, which would be at 5 o’clock, is hidden by a red-edged yellow ribbon that issues narrowly from the upper part of the star’s point at 9 o’clock and swirls down across the star and on out horizontally across the red stripe, gradually widening to three-quarters of a unit, to join the yellow frame’s edge at the fly. The ribbon, which at its horizontal position is nearly 0.25 units from the top of the red stripe, bears the legend NORTH DAKOTA in dark blue letters that are about half the size of the letters on the white stripe.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Symbolism

The large white star encircled by wheat represents Bismarck as the capital city of an agricultural state, while the horizontal ribbon represents the freeway (Interstate 94) through North Dakota, on which Bismarck is located.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Selection

Mayor Marlan Haakenson and the city commission held a contest to design a new city flag. The city commissioners appointed a “Betsy Ross Committee” to judge the entries. Its members were Fran Gronberg, Mary College; Dorothy Jackman, Bismarck Public Schools; Karen Syvertson, Bismarck Arts and Galleries Association; Nancy Hart, homemaker; and Susan Anderson, a Bismarck free-lance photographer.
Flag adopted: September 1986 (official).
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Designer

The winner of the contest and the $100 prize was Mark Kenneweg, a commercial production manager at KXMB-TV, with a degree from Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

More about the Flag

An obituary in the 20 Dec 2005 online edition of the Bismarck Tribune states: "In 1986 he [Mark Kenneweg] won a contest, sponsored by the Tribune, to design the Bismarck city flag. The flag hung for many years in the Bismarck Civic Center, and one still adorns a wall in the mayor's office."
Ned Smith, 5 February 2008


 
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