THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUBMISSIONS!  The city flag submission period is now closed. Click here to read about the submissions and view the finalists!

In honor of South Bend’s Sesquicentennial, the SB150 committee and the City of South Bend seek to introduce a new flag for the City of South Bend.  The goal is to create a design that captures the spirit of our city’s past, present, and future.  This flag will enable the community to proudly display its love of South Bend in a dynamic, creative and symbolic way.  It will be a flag that both unifies residents and speaks to visitors.  As seen throughout the year in various forms and fashions, the SB150 logo demonstrated this kind of power.  Of course, this logo is soon expiring.

We now have an opportunity to replace it with an emblem that will last for generations to come.New-SB-Design

Residents have an opportunity to help determine the look of the official South Bend City Flag. Join the design competition today!

Flags should be designed in the standard US Flag 1:1.67 proportion.  Submitted designs should be 1.5″ x 2.5″ in size.  Acceptable file formats for image uploads are: jpg, gif, png or pdf, max 2MB in size.

Application form, including the narrative explanations, must be completed in its entirety to be considered.

Each entry may only contain one design.  Individuals may submit up to three separate entries.

Application forms and designs must be submitted together, no later than 5:00 PM on Monday, November 23, 2015.  Official entry form is at the bottom of this page.

All submitted flag designs should*:

A. Include symbolic, visual or design representation of the four city-wide themes as conveyed the SB150 Committee (see below).

B. Utilize the “South Bend color palette” (blue, red & yellow).

C. Adhere to the North American Vexillological Association’s Five Basic Principles of Flag Design (see below).

*Designs choosing to stray from the above three guidelines will be considered only if they include justification.
Representatives of the SB150 Committee will select the design finalists. Residents will have a chance to weigh in on these designs throughout the month of December, which will help determine the winner.  Public input, quality of design, meaningful explanation of design and elements, and design adaptability are among the criteria that will be considered in selecting the winning flag. The winning design will be announced in early 2016.  Winning the competition, however, does not guarantee that the flag will be officially adopted.


The South Bend 150 Celebration Committee has come together to discuss major themes that collectively represent South Bend’s identity.  In some fashion, the following four items must be directly or indirectly represented in your flag design. The application form requires an explanation as to how each designer has symbolically represented these tenets:

1. The River
Not only is the St. Joseph River our city’s namesake, it’s ultimately why the city exists in the first place.  What was an early travel route for the Potawatomi, the river became a major commercial route for European traders.  The St. Joseph River provided power during the city’s peak manufacturing era and has continued to be a source of recreation, natural beauty, and an engine for economic growth running through the heart of our community.

2. Connectivity
The St. Joseph River historically served as an important connection between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico.  In a similar way, South Bend became an important cross country road hub, with the intersection of the Lincoln Highway (New York to California) and the Dixie Highway (Canada to Florida).  South Bend was, and still is, at the heart of several major highways and transcontinental railways.  The South Bend International Airport connects the city to the rest of the world and adds value to the South Bend Foreign Trade Zone.  In addition to being a hub for exploratory, commercial, logistical, and leisurely travel, South Bend’s new economy is relying heavily on the fact it sits at the intersection of six national fiber routes – providing a form of digital connectivity that is unlike anywhere else in the country.

3. Ethnically Diverse Heritage
Our heritage is not only displayed on street names and in history books.  It can be seen, felt and experienced in our deeply rooted neighborhoods, restaurants, churches, museums, performing arts centers, and special events.  Miami, Potawatomi, French, Hispanic, Polish, Irish, Italian, African-American, Hungarian, Belgian, German…the list goes on.  Our rich diversity is what made us who we are today and it’s what will make us stronger tomorrow.

4. Innovation
South Bend is a city that has innovation built into its DNA.  This has manifested itself through products like the Oliver Chilled Plow and Studebaker automobiles; companies such as Bendix and Honeywell; introductions such as hydroelectricity and the world’s smartest sewer system; and through collaborations with world-class institutions such as Memorial Hospital and the University of Notre Dame.   South Bend has proven itself as a place internationally renowned for advanced thinking and innovation.  This spirit of innovation also includes reinvention, as South Bend has demonstrated a special tenacity to recreate itself and its economy.

While all four elements must be represented in some fashion, this does not necessarily mean there must be four symbols or graphics on every design proposal.  A specific graphic design element may potentially represent two themes, a background color may represent a theme while a border may represent something different, etc.  The narrative portion of your application is critical to explain these items.



The SB150 committee encourages the use of colors that are consistent with other imagery and logos frequently used in South Bend, which typically include blue, yellow, and/or red. For an example of these colors as they appear in South Bend and the surrounding region, please see the graphics below. Flag designs should be limited to using three colors at most (not all need to be used). Please note, white may be included as a fourth color if the design requires. 

Current “South Bend” Logos All Tend to Use a Similar Color Palette…the “South Bend Color Palette”:

City Flag Colors 1

Logos from around the region and state use a similar color scheme that indentifies with this area:

City Flag Colors 2