By Frank Lewis
As a natural follow-up to the recent adoption of a new city seal, the city of Portsmouth has adopted a new city flag.
“This is what we asked for,” First Ward Councilman Kevin W. Johnson said. “The ‘Portsmouth, Ohio’ is more in bold. It comes across better. It comes further out into the blue. It’s a more distinctive feature on there. I think this is dang sharp.”
Gina Chabot, of the city’s Bicentennial Committee, made the presentation of the new design to City Council Monday night and gained instant approval from the Council members. She later told the Daily Times the scenario behind the creation of the flag.
“(Second Ward Councilman) Rich Saddler was the inspiration,” Chabot said. “Michael Vermillion and myself collaborated.”
The design appeared to be well thought out.
“The concept was to create a new flag complementary to the new seal,” Chabot said. “We first used the whole seal, but it was crowded. Later the idea struck to remove the outer ring and let the rope ‘O” be our O, representing the River. The rope has been used for River Days and all of that for years.”
Highlights include the U.S. Grant Bridge looking up to Portsmouth and stars and stripes with lush trees and the Ohio River in the background.
“The flag with the seal without the outer ring, makes the letters for Portsmouth, Ohio become the ‘stars’, with the indication of our Stars on the flood wall,” Chabot said. “The two stars represent the original Alexandria, Ohio, and the move to higher ground in Portsmouth. This is a move that the Shawnee Indians had made centuries earlier as well.”
Chabot went on to explain that the bridge is the connection between communities but also the bridge to the future as well as the past. The rope and the round shape is in honor of the city’s “Beautiful Rivers” (again the two stars), and River Days, and how the city’s focus for the future can be enhanced by the river.
It didn’t take long for Johnson to make a motion for adoption, and the vote was 4-0 with only four members present for the meeting.
“We all think it will make a nice complement to the Ohio and National Flags,” Chabot said.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.
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