Student-designed flag to serve as new Franklin banner

After more than 30 years, the Franklin city flag has a brand new look, and a group of teens have put their first mark on the community.

The Franklin Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council has designed a new city flag, and residents and businesses can buy one to fly alongside their American flags.

The 15 high school students came up with designs, honed in on one and then came up with symbolism for the images on the flag, said Same VanderVeen, a Franklin Community High School senior and president of the council. His design was selected by the rest of the youth council.

The idea to revamp the city’s flag came from former Mayor Joe McGuinness, who formed the council. Mayor Steve Barnett has embraced continuing to work with the youth council and supported adopting a new city flag.

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The new flag is navy blue and yellow, which represents Franklin College, and white, which gives the impression of being safe, clean and truthful.

Six stars were used to mark Franklin’s traditions, community spirit, such as events and renovations of downtown, opportunities, education, innovation and commerce.

“We all worked together to come up with that symbolism,” VanderVeen said of the teens on the youth council.

Alice Flanagan, a resident who designed the city’s original flag in 1979, gave her blessing to adopting a new city flag and attended a recent meeting when the board of works approved it.

The original city flag was blue and white with the profile of Benjamin Franklin, 1823, which is the year the city was founded, and five stars representing the city’s “Wonder Five” basketball team.

This is the first year for the mayor’s youth council, but the students have been talking about what priorities they want to focus on and what efforts they should take to make the community better.

For example, they’ve raised the concern about a lack of public restrooms in the downtown area and the need for disability-friendly playground equipment in public parks, VanderVeen said. They also want to be involved in the community’s efforts to tackle the growing opioid addiction, he said.

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Want to fly the city’s flag?

You can purchase a City of Franklin flag through Kelly Promotional Products in Franklin. Cost is $200.

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Members of the Franklin Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council

Sam VanderVeen, senior

Ryan Clendening, senior

Elena VanderVeen, senior

Alexandra Parramore, senior

Hunter Gross, senior

Emma Beavins, junior

Landon Carter, junior

Dane Johnston, junior

George Admire, sophomore

Clayton Black, sophomore

Isabell Mahin, sophomore

Jonathan Ott, sophomore

Megan Tennell, freshman