This year, the flag design contest was opened up to a variety of social media sites, including Reddit, an open platform aggregate site drawing 234 million unique users per month. The forum we opened up to, /r/vexillology , is just one of many flag-related forums, or subreddits. /r/vexillology is the largest, with 269 thousand subscribed members. The vast majority of our Reddit entrants are neither NAVA members, nor members of any formal academic flag communities.
Not only have we received overwhelming support, but this has been the largest flag design contest for a NAVA meeting in history! We received a total of 66 eligible entrants to the contest, with a total of 137 eligible flag designs.
All the entries were anonymized and catalogued, handed off to our Flag Committee. Each committee member submitted their top five in order of preference. Each option was then assigned a point value:
- First design option was assigned 5 points.
- Second design was 4 points
- Third design was 3 points
- Fourth design 2 points
- Fifth design 1 point
There were two designs with a total of 13 points, 4 points more than second place. The two winning designs were the same designer, and the final flag was a combination of the two designs.
The official meeting flag of NAVA 54 was unveiled at ICV in San Antonio on July 18th.
This flag features a golden field to represent Florida, the ‘Sunshine State’. The half-Burgundy cross represents the importance of the Spanish Empire to St. Augustine’s founding and history. Above it is featured a stylized outline of the Castillo de San Marcos, an important historical site and symbol of the city. The blue bars at the bottom represent the Matanzas bay on which St. Augustine sits, and the ocean beyond. The designer is Matthew Thomas of The United Kingdom.