Monday, January 31, 2011
My Most Enduring Art
I won the contest held in the year 2000 for a new Hamilton County, Ohio official flag design. The county includes Cincinnati and its municipalities and townships. These are acknowledged in the little stars which surround the central H. Squint and you’ll see a tiny crown on the triangular crossbar. That is to glorify the “The Queen City.” Until mighty Chicago became a toddling town, Cincinnati was the greatest city west of “King” New York.
I did the design entirely by hand using traditional drafting tools and art supplies which were becoming fast obsolete: rubber cement, color-aid paper, acetate, etc. I took a vindictive pleasure in trumping the scores of computer-driven entries. It didn’t hurt that I had inadvertently chose a Kwanza palette, as the finalists were voted upon by a committee with vested political interests.
That's me in formal corporate disguise (my hair was white even then) which I use for funerals and weddings. Standing at center is the now powerful Republican Rob Portman. I had just given a pompous speech to a civic-minded crowd, saying with bravado that I hoped to see the new flag flying over the 2000 World Series. As we hoisted it, I remarked to Portman, “This is no Iwo Jima.”