Guest Editorial: The Flag Stays

By Scottsdale Pinetop

If we’ve learned anything from the recent election cycle, it’s that our community is becoming more and more involved in matters affecting the city. In the case of the Papago Plaza, the vote was postponed by City Council after the public demanded more community outreach. The recent debate surrounding the city flag is another good example. Since the announcement of the new city flag, there has been a public outcry from many Scottsdale residents advocating to keep it the way it is. Like so many others, we were not shy to voice our opinion on the subject.

And it appears that the message has been received.

Just two weeks after its original decision to approve the new city flag known as “Saguaro Blossom,” the City Council voted 5-2 to rescind the vote. For weeks the city has been inundated with complaints about the switch and support the city’s old design. Most of the backlash is based upon the fear that the new flag replaces the city’s seal which, in a way, replaces Scottsdale’s western roots.

The cowboy and bucking bronco is symbolic of Scottsdale’s heritage and identity. Proclaimed the “West’s Most Western Town” in 1947, Scottsdale has embraced this identity in a number of ways – from our historic Old Town to our annual western events like the Parada del Sol parade and rodeo. As Scottsdale Mayor Lane said, “It’s not just a slogan, it’s part of who we are.” The same can be said for our current city flag. We reject the notion by some that the flag is insulting or under representing of Scottsdale’s LGBTQ community. Frankly, we think that critique is silly. And that’s coming from opinions at the Arizona Progress and Gazette that we among the city’s strongest voices for a strong city LGBTQ ordinance to better protect rights.

So, for now, Scottsdale is sticking with its historic blue, white and gold flag featuring a bucking bronco. We applaud the City Council for listening to its residents and for taking action to retain its western roots.  It is still unclear if the city will revisit the flag issue in the near future. We hope they don’t. Frankly, there are a list of other critical issues facing Scottsdale, such as our crumbling infrastructure, that need to be resolved before we try to change a problem that didn’t exist with a solution that was not needed.