CLINTON — Morgan Wehling stepped up to the podium Tuesday at City Hall, and although his name was written next to “city flag and seal discussion” on the Clinton City Council’s agenda, many may not have expected the well-spoken eighth grader.
Wehling, who has worked with City Administrator Matt Brooke throughout the process, noticed the lack of symbols representing the city of Clinton. Although the city has a seal — that Wehling finds unappealing — Clinton does not have a flag. With his love of design, Wehling set out to fix this problem.
“I discovered the world of design pretty early,” Wehling said. “First, I was interested in drawing — landscapes and portraits — then I discovered logos and logo design.
“Then I discovered flags. From the largest and most powerful of nations to the smallest town, flags can apply to everyone.”
Wehling recognized the “sense of identity and character” these symbols embrace in communities, and wanted to harness these sentiments in his own city.
Pulling from a TED Talks about seals and flags, Wehling pointed out that some cities may miss the point. A city in Wisconsin that displays partial skyline, is impractical as infrastructure changes, and the city of San Diego, California weighs too heavily on words — some that cannot be read, even from a close distance, he said.
Then he looked to a strong flag influence, like the city of Chicago’s five stars and stripes. These are clear, neat and easily identifiable, he said. It made him think, “what about us?”
“We do not have a flag, however, we certainly have a lot of things we are known for,” he said. “But we don’t have a flag, we have no unifying symbol to represent our Clinton identity.”
Wehling’s flag design, two green stripes surrounding a blue with a red paddlewheel in the middle, represents areas like Eagle Point Park and other open spaces, with the Mississippi River and steamboats. His seal, similar, has saw blades around the boarder (to represent the lumber history of the area) and a scenic view of a lighthouse on the river, with the paddlewheel panning the background, in similar fashion as a sunset.
Clinton Committee of the Whole members were more than pleased with the presentation.
The presentation for a flag and seal was motioned to the next council meeting.