Dear Tell All: I am from Chicago and have visited Madison many times. One thing that surprises me is how infrequently the Madison city flag is displayed. I've seen it at the Municipal Building, on the way to Monona Terrace, and flying at somebody's house on Williamson Street. Other than that, why doesn't anyone else display the flag?
Look, I get it: You're the state capital. Thus a lot of Wisconsin state flags are flown. But you have a great city flag. A simple, meaningful design, in the same way Chicago's is. We treat our city flag like a brand, slapping it on everything. Therefore I am puzzled that you haven't done the same. A couple of your alders, Maurice Cheeks and Mike Verveer, have tried to get the city to brand the flag. It seems like nothing's happened.
What's wrong? What am I missing? Why the modesty? Fly your city's flag more often, I say.
Just Trying to Help
Dear Just Trying to Help: We appreciate the advice from a big-city visitor. But if you actually lived in Madison, you’d probably care about the flag as little as we do. And not everyone loves the design, by the way.
The truth is, there’s no urgent need to brand the city with a flag because our brand is clear enough already. We’re Mad City, with pink flamingos on Bascom Hill and Lady Liberty in the lake. We’re the ones who occupied the Capitol after Scott Walker’s Act 10 and should probably not offer up any gubernatorial candidates for the foreseeable future. We’re the place that resisted the Vietnam War and elected the Red Mayor. We do “Jump Around” on game day, circle the Farmers’ Market counterclockwise, chill at the Memorial Union Terrace, hike the Arboretum, and obsess on Frank Lloyd Wright. We’re the best place to live in the United States, for God’s sake.
Maybe Chicago needs a flag to create a sense of identity, Just Trying, but we here in Madison know exactly who we are, thank you very much.
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