What was meant to be a display of civic pride has created major controversy in Cedar Park. The city recently selected its first official flag. But just a month after unveiling it, they've taken it down and are starting over.
Blue for the creeks that fostered civilization, green for the parkland, a white line for transportation, and x's for barbed wire for agricultural heritage… This is what Cedar Park means to resident Catherine Van Arnam.
"It's a special place,” she said.
Van Arnam first came to Cedar Park from the northeast. She fell in love with the city's history, independent spirit and great economic prospects-- all feeling she attempted to convey in a design of what was selected as the city's first official flag.
It still waves above the HEB Center at Cedar Park, but is absent from city hall. On Thursday night, council members thought it was best to take it down as they re-do the flag selection process.
Just discussing the decision brings Van Arnam to tears.
"I'm a private citizen. I knew there would be a backlash. I didn't expect what my family and I have been through. It's been very difficult,” said Van Arnam.
Last year the city called for submissions for a flag design. Van Arnam was excited for the opportunity.
"While I was working on the design I was burning dinner and my kids were there and we just enjoyed that process together,” said Van Arnam.
She put a lot of effort into it sticking to the five basics of proper flag design like only using two or three colors and keeping it simple enough that a child could draw it.
After a thorough selection process overseen by a sub-committee and discussed in several public meetings, Van Arnam's design was chosen. City leaders made some slight alterations to echo a common theme of the 250 entries.
The final design was unveiled in a ceremony in early December.
"I was astonished. It was epic. The unveiling was beautiful. I think it was a great moment for the whole city and I was so proud to be a part of it. My family was so proud. It was a great moment,” said Van Arnam.
Not everyone was happy with the design and the selection process. Some lashed out at Van Arnam on social media.
On Thursday night people took their complaints to the city council.
"We received all kinds of feedback both positive and negative, but we heard their feedback and our city Council decided that with all of the public interest and feedback positive and negative that this was something they wanted to reconsider,” said Cedar Park Communications Manager Jennie Huerta.
Cedar Park Communications Manager Jennie Huerta says council members directed staff to make recommendations for a public input process revisiting all submissions once more.
In the meantime the flag was ordered to be taken down so as not to unfairly influence the process.
One little fan went with his dad to city hall Friday to collect a few souvenirs.
"This is actually a very creative design,” said William Miller, 8 years old.
It is the thoughts of young minds that Van Arnam is finding comforting as something she was so proud of was suddenly taken away.
"My son had a great point. He said we will always have had the first official flag of Cedar Park so I'm proud for that and I'm proud for the history and the design that this flag represents,” said Van Arnam.