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Kansas City Entrepreneurs Look To Create One Flag To Unite The Divided Metro

KCUR 89.3

Think we would all get along better if we lived under one flag – from Olathe to Leavenworth, Liberty to Grandview?

Some young Kansas City-metro entrepreneurs do.

Thirty-three year old Graham Ripple and some of his buddies have started a website – OneFlag.co — to raise funds and solicit designs for a banner that every municipality in the metro could fly — one flag that would represent all 14 counties in the Kansas City Region.

"We’ve been talking about it as kind of a North Star," Ripple says. "Like basically saying we all are family here, we are all from KC, we all love KC. It could create unity in that regard."

Ripple says he doesn't want this to be just a "feel good" project. The company plans to donate profits from the sale of the flags and merchandise to Kansas City foundations and charities. 

Eventually the team hopes to have an annual “One Flag Day” to celebrate all the cool things happening in our communities.

Frank Lenk of the Mid-America Regional Council has nothing bad to say about the idea of a "regional flag."

He says we have made significant progress toward working together as a metro in some areas, for example in marketing or issues like Homeland Security. But there are still sticking points.

"There are some things we find difficult to cooperate on," he says. " There are issues surrounding poverty and race that are still difficult for us." In addition, he points out, "we have a state line running down the middle of our Metro."

Graham Ripple, meanwhile, says any adult can propose a design for the flag and post it to the website. People can also vote for their favorite prototype. Ripple says they hope to reveal the winner by the end of the year.

Laura Ziegler is a community engagement reporter for KCUR 89.3. You can reach her on twitter @laurazig or at lauraz@kcur.org

I partner with communities to uncover the ignored or misrepresented stories by listening and letting communities help identify and shape a narrative. My work brings new voices, sounds, and an authentic sense of place to our coverage of the Kansas City region. My goal is to tell stories on the radio, online, on social media and through face to face conversations that enhance civic dialogue and provide solutions.
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