The winning design in the Newton Flag Project contest will be unveiled at a special event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 8 at Carriage Factory Art Gallery, 128 E. Sixth St.


In August the gallery displayed 65 design entries in its front windows during public voting to narrow down a group of finalists for judging by a steering committee.


"I think it is impressive," said Mary Lee-McDonald, director of the gallery. "There are some great designs, and 65 entries, I think that is fun."


Lee-McDonald was a part of the steering committee for the project, which was announced in July. The city is seeking an official flag, mirroring initiatives in Wichita and Hutchinson.


According to Erin McDaniel, director of public information for the city of Newton, the flag is intended to inspire pride and unity in the community.


"Watching people communicate, and telling what Newton means to them [has been meaningful]," Lee-McDonald said. "Having 65 entries describing how [people] feel about this town is really fun."


The winner will be recognized, followed by a performance by the Newton High School Drumline at 6:30 p.m. and arts activities for kids in the park on Oct. 8. Salted Creamery ice cream and flag merchandise will be available for purchase.


Safe social distancing and the Harvey County mask order will be observed.


The unveiling celebration is the culmination of a four-month process to establish a city flag for Newton.


In June, three community meetings were held to educate the public about the project and generate ideas about possible designs. In July, the design contest opened, and 65 entries were received from designers of all ages and backgrounds.


On Oct. 13, the Newton Flag Project steering committee will bring the winning design to the Newton City Commission to consider its adoption as the official city flag. The design will be in the public domain and made available for all to use and adapt.


Guidelines for the judging team included:


· Keep it simple – The flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory.


· Use meaningful symbolism – The flag’s images, colors, or patterns should relate to or tell a compelling story about the community.


· Use 2-3 basic colors.


· No lettering or seals – Never use writing of any kind or an organization’s seal.


· Be distinctive or be related – Avoid duplicating other flags, but use similarities to show connections.


· Be timeless – Avoid using features that will become dated or obsolete.


· Consider real-world structure – Images should be legible on both front and back of the flag, and legible while flying or hanging.