The Peoria flag and what it means part of mayor’s address

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There was a lot of ground covered in Mayor Cathy Carlat’s State of the City address. Not only did she praise council and staff, she mentioned Peoria citizens by name who had given her recommendations and ideas for moving the city forward into a brighter future.

She is right; Peoria has come a long way from its beginnings as a farming community. It took settlers more than 50 years to finally incorporate the area as a town, and then, a city. There were infrastructure issues, paving and street name changes, irrigation ditches to cover, a proper City Hall, relocating city offices and maintenance buildings, expansion of city services, and modernizing various aspects of service delivery.

There have been stumbles along the way, but in the most important facet of city functions, there has been a strong commitment in the past 20 years to fiscal stability.

No more unaffordable expenditures has been the business model we all know as Peoria, Ariz. Peoria officials adhere to its guiding document, “Principles of Sound Financial Management.”

So, where does the city go from here?

Carlat’s message was clear: The city is moving forward with a clear vision to create innovative jobs for those Peoria citizens seeking them, and bring amenities to improve the quality of life for all Peoria residents.

She brought forth a flag, which she said represents the city’s past, present and future.

Its unveiling may have been a shock to some, but the city’s communication director, Jennifer Stein, explained the flag.

She said, “Basically, the City of Peoria has never had an official flag. We have a seal on a white piece of fabric that still exists. A couple years ago, working with the mayor and others here, we started gathering feedback and listening to our residents, and hearing what Peoria means to them, what they feel and expect, and from citizen input, what the city needs.

“What we did was start to incorporate, through our brand, the colors, what you saw in banners in Old Town, Facebook and website. All this translated and transitioned into the flag.”

Stein said the meaning and elements represented citizen input and feedback at community meetings and exercises.

Stein said, “The mayor addressed what the elements mean.”

Those elements translated to blue for the skies and Lake Pleasant and how the city is known for its open space; Peoria being a progressive and that was progressed through the upward motion; and the three stars represent the city’s  heritage, present and future.

The elements were then given to an in-house graphic designer. He took these elements and created the flag.

Stein said, “This particular project doesn’t require council approval, but the mayor did communicate with council to get feedback.”

Best of all, it won’t cost anything. Every three months, the city’s flags are rotated. The actual cost is $850 total for 17 flags.

That has to happen anyway, because of rotation.

Stein said, “We really worked diligently to represent and respect all of those suggestions from citizens. That was done through various exercises. At meetings in the past, we asked questions, like what does Peoria mean? We took those pieces and gave to the designer.

“The flag truly represents what Peoria means. People want to buy the flag. A demand from our residents, so we’ll look into that.”

So, for those with questions, the State of the City address is posted online. You can access the file here.