When we launched the Portland flag contest in February, we didn’t expect to get so many entries.
All told, we got 85 flags, from 40 designers. We got hand-drawn designs, one that’s really hilarious, a ton of really slick, beautiful designs, and a handful of lighthouses. Even though Portland does not actually have a lighthouse in the city, we understand why the image is iconic for a coastal city in Maine.
Our judges — flag experts Ted Kaye and David Martucci, and Casco Bay High School student Benjamin Coursey — pored over the designs and rated each one.
The judges were looking for simple, clear designs that followed generally accepted best practices for flag design and somehow captured an essential part of Portland.
Now, originally, the plan was for them to whittle the entries down to the top-three finalists.
But with so many entries, we and the judges decided to open up the contest a little, so you could have a greater say in choosing the winning flag.
The judges instead picked their 10 favorite designs. They didn’t worry about where they came from or who designed them. They were purely interested in the designs themselves.
A few of the flags chosen for the second round were great, but the judges had minor suggestions to improve them. We shared the ideas with the designers, and they made the tweaks. We’ve noted which flags were revised in the gallery below.
Now, it’s your turn to weigh in.
For this next round, you’ll rate each flag — one for the lowest score, 10 for the highest.
The three top-scoring flags will advance to the final round, where you’ll get to vote again — this time, by just choosing your favorite flag. Whichever designer gets the most votes, wins the contest.
And here are the semifinalists: