TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – In downtown Topeka, you’ll see the new Topeka flag waving from Westar’s roof. It can be seen all over the city and has been rated by experts, yet the city itself hasn’t made it official.
The Topeka flag debuted in April and since then, the community has adopted it with merchandise and used it in restaurants.
“Johnny’s Tavern, their soft opening, they had Topeka flags on their shirts. That’s neat. It’s on Norsemen’s wall, you see it hanging above Westar, we’ve got Iron Rail, having TopCity nights with their beer mugs,” Lindsay Lebahn of Forge said.
The flag has even been vetted by the North American Vexillological Association – vexillography being the study of flag design.
It’s been nearly five months since it’s debut and the city still hasn’t adopted it, leading people to question why they haven’t.
“The whole idea was that it was fun and could be shared and anybody could do anything they wanted with it and just have fun with it,” Karen Hiller, a member of the Topeka City Council said.
But some council members are unclear whether it’s worth another step in terms of formality.
“With ownership of artwork comes a responsibility, comes licensing rights and needing to make decisions about what people do with it and how they do it,” Hiller said. “That wasn’t the original idea.”
When KSNT reached out to all nine Councilmen for a response, only four of them responded.
Those Councilmen who did respond all said that they like the flag as a symbol for the Topeka community, but some are indifferent about the need to make it official. One said it should be up to the community to decide.