The Contest


Our call for entries has been completed. Below is what was asked for.

Get your pencils, crayons, markers, mouse or whatever medium prefer warmed up, it's time to design! Click here to download a pdf of the Rochester Flag Project promo and entry form. Totally fine to use your own paper or computer, just design your new Rochester flag in a 3:5 ratio. When submitting, let us know...

  • Your flag's meaning
  • Your name
  • Address
  • Email
  • Phone

Submit your design by emailing it to or mail/drop it off at Herold Flags and Flagpoles, 2002 2nd St SW, Rochester, MN 55902.

The first round runs May 15-August 18, 2017. At the culmination of the first round, the public will vote on their favorites with the top three designs awarded as round winners. A panel of community judges will also choose their top three. The first place finisher in both the public vote and juried vote will move on to the final round.

In order to garner as many entries as possible, a second round in the design contest will run Oct. 16-Jan. 19. You may enter (and are encouraged!) to enter in both rounds, you may not submit the same design in both rounds however.


Official rules and guidelines...

1.    An entry must be submitted either as a 3x5-inch drawing or a JPG/PDF/Vector image.  A resolution of 900x1500 pixels works well, no files larger than 2mb please.  Index card size works well.

An entry will NOT be accepted if:

  • It uses gradient colors. (All parts must be solid colors.)

  • It is two-sided. (The same image will be seen on both sides.)

  • It is a design that is plagiarized or is otherwise not an original work of the artist/designer.

2.  Entries must include contact information for the artist including:  Name, address, phone number, email, age if under 18, and parental contact information if entrant is under 18.

Note: do not put your name or identifying information on the image itself.  Judging will be anonymous and the committee will assign a number to your entry.

3.  A paragraph (150 words or less) explaining symbolism in the flag and its story is strongly recommended but not required.

4.  Entries will be accepted by online submission, via email to or delivered in person or by mail to Rochester Flag Project, Herold Flags, 2002 SW 2nd St., Rochester, MN 55902, 507-288-1165.  Email can also be linked online at

5.  There will be 2 public entry contests. Each contest will have judges review and select a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner, and the public will also vote online or in person at Herold Flags and will have a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner. The judges will use a point system to aid in their selections, which will be available to the public as well.

There will be a cash prize of $75 1st place, $50 2nd place, and $25 3rd place for the judged winners and the public winners. The final winner will also receive a full 3x5 ft. flag of the winning design.

The first contest, from Monday, 15 May, 2017 to Friday, 18 August, 2017, at 5 p.m., will have a timely public vote on all entries, online and in person at the Herold Flags. Voters must choose their top 5 designs, indicating the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th choice.  The Judges’ Panel will select their top three winners.

The second contest will operate exactly as the first, except from Monday, 16 October, to Friday, 17 November, 2017, at 5 p.m.

6.  After the 2 contests of public entries, the judges will begin a complete review process. The judges will look at all the entries and concepts to find what they think will be the best flag for the city. They may take concepts from several entries and combine them, or even create something not already submitted. This process will take place sometime during December, 2017 and January, 2018 but no later than 31 January, 2018.

7.  After the judges have decided, they will present the 4 designs that won 1st place in the 2 contests and the additional design, or designs they think will be best for the city after a review of all designs. The public will again vote for the final winner. The winning design will be submitted to the Mayor and City Council for consideration with a recommendation by the judges.  This will happen in early winter/spring 2018.

8.  Deadlines:

Designs for the first contest must be received by Friday, August 18th, 2017 at 5 p.m.

Designs for the second contest must be received by January 19th, 2017 at 5 p.m.

9.  Important notes:

Entries that do not follow the above guidelines will not be considered. All entries become property of the Rochester Flag Project Committee, will be considered public domain, and will be transferred to City of Rochester, Minnesota at the completion of the contest.  The author/creator relinquishes all rights to the design. The artists/designers also certify that they are the original creators of the art work and it is not copyrighted or trademarked. The Committee and Judges reserves the right to alter, modify, or combine designs to create an official City of Rochester flag. Submissions by members of the Judges’ Panel will not be considered.

The Committee reserves the right to use entries for promotional purposes during the course of the contest, for example on social media for contest updates.

The Committee’s goal is a free and fair contest, subject to reasonable changes throughout its course. Contest rules are subject to change.

9.  Hints/Advice:  

The flag must be a powerful design that attracts immediate interest and excitement. Citizens of Rochester must be attracted to their flag, want to see it used because they like it, rather than as a duty.  It must speak to the character of the citizens in a way they can identify with and say "Yes, that's us".

Samples of city flags can be found on Flags of the World-FOTW.  A small sample of interesting city & other flags will be displayed at,  Rochester Flag Project on Facebook, @rochesterflagproject on Instagram, @rochmnflag on Twitter, at Herold Flags & Flagpoles, and various community partner locations.


Naura Anderson Design

Fagan Studios

Herold Flags & Flagpoles

Red Dogwood Garden Design

Red Couch Stories

Rochester Art Center

Minnesota Children’s Museum Rochester

History Center of Olmsted County

Paid for by the Rochester Flag Committee and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.  Contributions or gifts to Rochester Flag Committee are not deductible as charitable contributions for Federal income tax purposes, but can be part of a co-marketing budget.  Contact us for co-marketing, partnership, and sponsorship opportunities.