DES MOINES, Iowa — Tuesday marked the ceremonial return of Des Moines’ official flag.
A year ago, a Des Moines couple launched a campaign to bring back the official flag of Des Moines, and on Tuesday that campaign paid off. The City of Des Moines raised the flag outside the Krause Gateway Center on Grand Avenue.
The flag features three white bridges, representing the downtown bridges on Locust Street, Grand Avenue and Walnut Street over the Des Moines River. It was chosen during a city council contest back in 1974.
The idea for the city to create the flag in the first place came from former Callanan Middle School teacher Gerald LeBlanc. He and his 7th grade class petitioned the city back in 1974 to hold a flag contest. But the flag disappeared from the Des Moines skyline after it stopped being produced in the 1990s.
Last year, Emily and Mason Kessinger started a campaign to bring it back. The Kessingers moved back to Des Moines three years ago.
“I grew up here, and for us, the flag is a really strong symbol,” said Emily Kessinger. “Coming from Chicago, where I used to live, and from D.C., where my husband used to live, we realized the city needed a symbol to rally around. And for us, it was this flag.”
City leaders jumped on board quickly and approved it as the city’s official flag on Oct. 14.