This is the city’s current flag, designed in 1965. A contest to choose a new design failed to impress the Laconia City Council, so the current flag will continue to be used. (Michael Kitch/Laconia Daily Sun)
$1,000 in prizes to go to contestants, despite no winner
By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Although the city will not fly a new flag, three of those who designed the six flags recommended by the Flag Competition Committee from among some 100 entries submitted will share $1,000 in prize money, with the winner pocketing $500, the runner-up $300 and the third-place finisher $200.
After finding none of the top entries to their liking, the six councilors voted to keep the flag adopted in 1965. However, Councilor David Bownes (Ward 2) insisted the competition should be continued and the prize money distributed. The six councilors will each cast votes on the six finalists —with one point for their most favored design and six points for their least favored design — and the lowest scores declared the winners.
Meanwhile, last week Bree Henderson of Polished and Proper, who led the initiative to replace the city flag and was openly disappointed by the council's decision, approached New Hampshire Public Radio, which not only broadcast a story on the competition but also posted the six designs alongside the existing flag and invited listeners to vote for their favorite. (http://nhpr.org/post/after-crowdsourcing-new-options-laconia-will-keep-its-old-flag-thank-you-very-much)
By Monday, 103 votes were cast, nearly a third of them for the design featuring the bird flying within the gear. The council's favorite, the existing flag, polled seven votes, one more than flag with the three gold stars within the white stripe on a field blue.
Henderson has said that she intends to pursue her efforts to replace the city flag after the next election, when she hopes that some of the councilors will also be replaced.
This flag, at left, was the most popular flag according to a poll conducted by New Hampshire Public Radio. The Laconia City Council has not yet determined its own the top three, whose designers will be awarded cash prizes. In the radio poll, the flags, ranked in order shown, got the following votes: 1- 32 votes, 2 - 22 votes, 3 - 18 votes, 4 - 11 votes, 5 - 7 votes, and 6 - 6 votes. (Courtesy photos)