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Issue 11 

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June, 2001                                                               Vol. VI,  No. 1, Issue 11

The Maple Leaf Flags

        When one hears mention of a maple leaf on a flag, immediately the assumption is made that it must be Canadian, so closely associated is that symbol with our neighbor to the north.  Nevertheless, at least four GWAV cities (and perhaps more) use the maple leaf as the dominant symbol on their civic flags.  The first of these flags to be adopted was the flag of Maple Heights, Ohio, which was officially approved on November 17th, 1965.  As is so often the case with civic flags, the name of the designer has long since been forgotten at City Hall.  The flag has a bright green field with the words "MAPLE HEIGHTS OHIO" in yellow block letters running across the field in such a way that each word forms a separate line, slanted slightly from hoist to fly.  The size of the letters in each line decreases somewhat so that each row is about two-thirds the height of the previous one.  The letter "M" of "Maple" is in green, like the field, on a yellow maple leaf, the stem of which points toward the hoist.  Yellow fringe on the flag adds an additional touch in harmony with the flag's colors. 

        Sylvania, Ohio, adopted it's civic flag in April, 1984, as a result of a contest held in the schools in grades K-12.  The winner was Brian Johnson, a fourth-grader at St. Joseph School.  Council had a number of the flags made in different sizes, and one of the mayors, James E. Seney, used to pass our small 4x6-inch flags with his name written in blue next to the hoist, followed by the notation "Ltd. Edition," in green.  The flag has a white field with a green maple leaf in it's center, surrounded by a narrow green ring.  Running diagonally from bottom hoist to top fly are two narrow stripes, conjoined, green over blue, that appear to pass beneath the maple leaf and the ring.  In the upper half of the field, near the hoist, appear the words "City Of," in blue, and in the lower half, also in blue, "Sylvania."

        Norwalk, Ohio, has actually had two flags with maple leaves on them.  The first has a white field bordered on all sides except the hoist with a narrow dark green band.  In the center of the field is a dark green maple leaf, oriented to be perfectly vertical, outlined in gold.  Over the top of the leaf in a semicircle appear the words "NORWALK OHIO" in gold block letters.  Below the leaf, in a straight line, are the words "The Maple City," also in gold block.  The designer and date of adoption of this flag are unknown at City Hall. 

 The current flag was designed in 1998 by Bradley Pfanner, a student at a local high school. He won $100 and the key to the city for his winning design. The field is a medium blue on which appears a large white "N," outlined in black, of the type used by members of sports teams on their jackets.  Superimposed on the "N" is a large vertical maple leaf, dark aquamarine in color. On a white heraldic ribbon outlined in black that curves slightly over the "N" are the words "CITY OF," and below, a similar ribbon that curves slightly under the "N," the word "NORWALK".

        Adrian, Michigan, has a flag that was developed at the urging of GWAV member Robert J. Kidd.  He worked with City Administrator Frank Ollendorff, American Legion representative Paul M. Hill, and Michael J. Tancey of Flags International (Osceola, IN) to come up with the finished design, which was adopted by the city on April 21, 1980.  The flag has a white field with the city seal in its center in dark blue.  The seal shows a white maple leaf in it's center, with the top point of the leaf aligned with the upper hoist corner.  This is superimposed on a stylized lower-case letter "a," in blue.  Curved around the central symbol are the words "THE CITY OF ADRIAN, MICHIGAN."  Immediately below the "a," between the first ("THE") and the last ("MICHIGAN") words of the seal is the date "1825," all in blue.  Surrounding the whole is a narrow blue ring.  (JP)



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