Pocatello, Idaho, City Flag History

Jan 22nd, 2017

Pocatello was founded in 1889. It is known as the “Gateway to the Northwest” because of its location near the Portneuf Gap and the Oregon Trail. It became a trade center and a junction for transportation as pioneers, settlers, and gold miners passed along the trail, with some settling in Pocatella.



The city of Pocatella has not adopted an official city flag, but has flown an unofficial flag at its wastewater treatment facility. The unofficial flag was actually created in 1999 as Chamber of Commerce logo. In 2001, a news article claimed that the Chamber of Commerce intended to reveal a city flag at during the city clean up event in May. That flag featured the Chamber of Commerce logo, including the copyright information at the bottom of the featured image.


In 2004, the North American Vexillological Association conducted The American City Flag Survey. Even though Pocatella did not have an official flag, its unofficial flag was included in the survey. The flag ranked 150th out of 150 flags. It was rated the worst flag design in the United States. Pocatello’s bad flag design was a part of the popular Roman Mars, designer and radio talk show host, 2015 TED talk where he spoke about "Why city flags may be the worst-designed thing you've never noticed".


In 2016, an Ad Hoc Committee was formed to give recommendations to the Pocatello City Council on a new city flag design. The committee created a website where anyone interested could submit a flag design for consideration. The deadline for submission was December 2, 2016. By that date, there were 709 entries received from both the U.S. and other countries around the globe. The submissions were to be reviewed by a panel of experts and the best designs presented for public input. The Pocatello City Council will then receive the favored design for adoption as the official city flag.


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