Brandon's 'spirit shines' in new city flag

Jill Meier, Journal editor

Ron Peterson (left) and Roger Brooks display the city’s first-ever official flag, “Our Spirit Shines.” Peterson’s design was selected out of 39 entries. The 3-foot by 5-foot flags are for sale at City Hall for $31.50 each. Jill Meier/BV Journal

After months in the making, Brandon’s new city flag – “Our Spirit Shines” - is now ready to fly, and purchase, too. 
The flag, designed by Ron Peterson, a landscape architect by trade, encompasses yellow rays of sunshine in a bright blue sky shining across rolling of black and red colors that signify pride in the school and community. The city flags (3-feet by 5-feet) are available for purchase at City Hall for $31.50 each. Other size flags and items may also be ordered at City Hall. The flags will also be on sale during the Brandon Expo on Nov. 11.
Peterson said the winning flag design featured “the most dominant thing” in the community, the school.
“We are fortunate to have great teachers, students, and community members that support it. That’s why I had to use the school colors for the rolling landscape on the bottom of the flag,” he explained. “I also wanted to use the other dominant colors for this area, blue and gold. They could stand for the city colors in Brandon’s logo, your alma mater, or the bright blue sky and sunny days we enjoy in South Dakota.”
Peterson, who considers himself a “hobby artist,” has long been fascinated with graphic design and logos.
“When I was a kid, I entered a design contest for a hometown Fourth of July button. I sent in about a dozen entries, but didn’t win. I still had a blast doing it and I have always liked designing and drawing graphics for people,” he said. 
Brandon’s City Council officially adopted the flag – the city’s first official flag - in late May. The flag design contest was initially orchestrated by Zach DeBoer, a Brandon Valley High School graduate and owner of Exposure Gallery & Studios in Sioux Falls. The project was funded through DeBoer’s residency at Robert Bennis Elementary during the 2016-17 school year in connection with the South Dakota Arts Council’s Artists in Schools & Communities program.
Peterson, who entered three designs, admits to preferring one of those entries. “But that one didn’t have the school colors in it,” he said. “I knew I had to use those four colors. I also had to stick to the standard flag rules - I think I was maxing the colors out at four.”  
Peterson’s winning flag design, which was one of 39 submitted, earned 34 percent of the 515 votes cast online.
“Mr. Peterson gave us a very well-designed, well thought out flag design,” Mayor Larry Beesley said. “We received a lot of great entries and it was tough to pick, and there were a lot of great, quality designs.”
Peterson said it’s exciting to have others appreciate his work.
“I think there were a lot of good flag designs in the final vote,” he said. “It will be fun to see it flying around town. There aren’t a lot of towns our size that have a custom flag, and I hope the community feels a sense of pride and positivity about Brandon when they look at it. That is what I was going for.” 
In addition to adopting an official flag, the Brandon Council also adopted a city pledge that was authored by Brandon Valley fifth-graders Julia Roy, Tanner Smith and Addison Swenson. The pledge reads, “I pledge dedication to the flag and community of Brandon, South Dakota, with love and respect to our citizens, with kindness and dignity to all.”
“I had a lot fun doing this. I hope the community likes the flag and makes good use of it for years to come,” said Peterson.


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