East Idaho City Ditches 'Worst Flag In North America'

Sep 20, 2017

A new flag is flying proudly over the city of Pocatello. On Tuesday, a color guard hoisted the city’s new flag up the pole in front of City Hall for the first time. With the new flag, the so-called Gate City sheds a dubious honor.


After a year and a half long effort from an all-volunteer committee made up of local officials, residents and even a vexillologist – that’s somebody who studies flags – the city of Pocatello has new banner representing the city.

The new flag, titled “Mountains Left,” features three red peaks symbolizing three local mountains on a field of blue. A blue line representing the Portneuf River cuts through the base of the mountains and atop the highest peak is a golden compass rose representing Pocatello’s history with transportation in the region.

“It just felt great seeing the flag go up,” says Jim DiSanza, a professor at Idaho State University. “I hope people in the city will, you know, start to fly it and unite around it. I’m looking forward to seeing that happen.”

DiSanza also served on the committee to come up with a new flag. He doesn’t mince words when asked if anyone in Pocatello is going to miss the old flag, which featured the phrase “Proud to be Pocatello” and both the trademark and copyright symbols on versions of the actual banner.

Pocatello's infamous old flag was considered to be the worst flag in North America -- if not the world -- by many.
Credit City of Pocatello - City Hall / Facebook

“I don’t think anybody’s going to lose any sleep over the worst flag in North America being retired,” he says chuckling.

The new “Mountains Left” design was chosen from over 700 entries the city received. Since nearly all work on the flag was done on a volunteer basis, the cost of the campaign to replace “Proud to be Pocatello” totaled just over $230.

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