Using a Contest to Choose City Symbols

Using a Contest to Choose City Symbols
By Washington, Missouri

A ballot was created with three categories:

  • Tree
  • Bird
  • Flower

There were four good options determined for each category. It will be fun for you to select options appropriate for your area. (Our winners were: flowering dogwood, cardinal, and Black-eyed Susan.)

The contest can be promoted in many ways, with children and adults alike. Decide what works best for your community: announce on the radio, advertise in local newspaper, city website, Facebook and/or any other platform you choose. Just drum up excitement to vote.

Announce where people can find ballots and ballot boxes.

Establish cutoff point/deadline and pick a date and place to announce the “winners.”

Through this point there were absolutely no costs to implement. Paper and printing were done in house with donated material.

The only costs followed with how we used the symbols. Car door magnets came first. They were used by Washington in Bloom Steering Committee members, Yard of the Month judges, and on some city vehicles. Then they were put on polo shirts which are often worn locally and each year to the AIB Symposium. What a great investment! They can also be used on posters, stationary, flyers, Koozies and any other promotional material you can dream up.

Note: This does not take the place of a logo or a brand. They are simply “City Symbols.”

We revere the National Symbols engrained in our heritage. Each state recognizes significant items for their importance to the state. Washington, MO has also gone local in voting on appropriate symbols for our city. The contest generated a good deal of excitement and we’ve enjoyed using them in many ways.

Included here are photos of the symbols used on our shirts. The yellow “model” came first. It is an embroidered product. The “model” on the blue fabric has been silk screened.