Chattanooga got a new city flag Tuesday night - though it was not without controversy and though a number of citizens said they did not know the city had an old one.
The City Council turned down a motion to defer action on the new flag by a 5-4 vote. Councilwoman Deborah Scott, in making the motion, said, "I don't think the sun's not going to come up in the morning if we don't have a flag."
Then there was a 6-3 vote in favor of the new flag that had been boosted by former City Councilman and recent city official David Crockett. Opposed were Ms. Scott, Andrae McGary and Peter Murphy, who said one constituent told him the new design is "hideous."
Mr. Crockett said the old flag looked too much like the state of Tennessee flag and a copy of it could hardly be found. He said a search for a new design began in the early 1990s and sought to find an image of a city that was starting to clean up its water and air and return to the Tennessee River.
He said some 50 designers were involved in the process that was resurrected recently.
Mr. Crockett said, "This flag wouldn't be confused with anybody else's."
The new flag has the city seal in the center and has green stripes at the top and bottom and a blue stripe in the center. The city seal shows a Civil War cannon with a backdrop of Moccasin Bend and downtown Chattanooga.
Councilman McGary said there needed to be "an open and transparent process" in coming up with a new flag. He said a number of young designers and other citizens had volunteered to be part of an ad hoc committee to come up with the new city symbol.
A designer for The Company Lab said the flag drafting process "can help bring people together."
A UTC student, Taylor Thomas, said he liked the old flag. "We should preserve our history," he said, decrying a tendency to tear down historic buildings in Chattanooga.
Mayor Ron Littlefield said, "I look forward to this flag flying outside the mayor's office."
He told council members, "I told you this was going to be controversial."