What’s that? You weren’t aware that Wichita has an official flag?

For many people, an image of Wichita’s flag doesn’t immediately come to mind. Even though it was designed and officially adopted 78 years ago, it hasn’t always been a highly visible part of our city’s landscape.

The city of Wichita’s Facebook page describes the flag’s design as such: “Three red and three white rays alternate from an off-center blue sun. The rays are the path of freedom to come and go as one pleases. The blue disc represents happiness, contentment. Stitched on the blue sun is an Indian symbol for hogan or permanent home. It’s a white circle with four sets of three parallel rays emanating from the circle’s principal axis.”  Cecil McAlister, a local artist and our flag’s designer, put a great deal of thought into his design. I believe the elements that he chose are a commentary on what he valued most about Wichita: freedom, happiness, contentment and home.

My experience as a Wichitan is unique to me. Cecil’s experiences were unique to him. And you have a unique Wichita story, too. The flag is a symbol of our pride in what we share, pride in our differences and pride in why we all work so hard to invest in and build our community.                                                                                                          My appreciation of this city grows when I understand another’s perspective. When I see someone wearing or flying the flag, it makes me smile, and I want to know what part of this city they are celebrating and sharing with others. Our flag brings us together.  And we need to remember to be more inclusive of those who aren’t physically present here, but who still feel connected to our city and invested in our success.

Let’s wave our flag and demonstrate our pride in the people and places that make Wichita so special.                  Angie Elliott is manager of Business Services for the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce. 

The Troll first appeared in May 2007, chained to some pipes beneath a large sidewalk grate near the Arkansas River. With a large, grotesque head and spindly appendages clothed in cobbled together black fabric, the troll stares up out of the grate with a look of rage for being chained in his industrial jail.

 He is the brainchild back then of a creative project manager working on a restoration and beautification of the Keeper of the Plains and the area around it. The manager suggested this would be a good way to deal with an unattractive outflow area for the nearby Westar Energy plant.

He commissioned local sculptor Constance Ernatt to create a troll that would hide below the grate and surprise unsuspecting passersby.  The troll stands seven feet tall, and weighs 200 pounds -- although it's difficult to appreciate his size in his underground prison. He is kind of spindly, with green skin, a bald head, and big ears. He looks more like a goblin, or maybe an oversized, evil Yoda.

If you have not yet found this Wichita favorite, call us and we will give you directions!

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