I’m worried about the the Wichita city flag. It’s beautiful. It instills civic pride. And it’s more popular than sliced bread, "Game of Thrones" and cat videos all combined. You can buy t-shirts with the Wichita flag on them at the grocery store. It’s on socks and skateboards and murals. Every other car, mine included, has either a Wichita flag license plate or window sticker on it. Recently there was an unveiling of city street sweepers emblazoned with giant painted Wichita flags. The other day when I got a new crown the dentist offered me the option of a Wichita city flag design on it.
I love our city’s flag. And so does, apparently, everyone else. When local artist Cecil McAlister came up with the winsome design in 1937, he gave us all a brilliant focus for our Wichita pride. But now it is getting so popular that I fret about it becoming too much of a cliché. After all, seems to me that there’s often a backlash toward huge popularity. Look at the hula hoop. Look at the PT Cruiser. Look at Garfield. Look at the banjo. (OK, just kidding about the banjo…it never was that popular, thank goodness.)
Point is, what goes up might come down. I just hope our flag, with its red and white rays of sunshine, doesn’t come slithering down the flagpole in a heap of public boredom someday.
The resurgence of interest in our flag came along at just the right time for our city. Wichita seems to have turned a corner over the last decade or so. I think some of it has to do with the local art scene and the home-grown creativity that is flowering in Wichita.
Here’s hoping we don’t get tired of our spectacular city banner anytime soon! Long may she wave!