Rapid City, South Dakota, City Flag History

Jan 27th, 2017

Rapid City gained its name from a waterway that it is situated beside, Rapid Creek. The city is located on a lower slope of the Black Hills mountain range. Rapid City was established in 1876 during the gold rush in the Black Hills, and was incorporated in 1883. It is unknown whether the city has adopted an official city flag.



The above, apparently unofficial, city flag was included in The American City Flag Survey that was conducted in 2004 by the North American Vexillological Association, NAVA. The flag was ranked 148 out of the 150 flags included in the survey; the third worst rated city flag in the United States. City flags that featured the city seal consistently receiving low ratings in the survey.


Rapid City Mayor Jim Shaw responded to the city flag rating by NAVA in an interview with the Black Hills Pioneer. He stated that the flag rated was not Rapid City’s flag. A NAVA member responded that the flag that was rated was sent to the association by a city office employee in Rapid City. The Black Hills Pioneer indicated that the flag displayed in Mayor Shaw’s office is “white with gold trim, says Rapid City on the top and South Dakota on the bottom. In the middle, it has a star and Mount Rushmore.” That flag would also have received a low rating because it “fails on all the basic principles of flag design” stated Ted Kaye, the individual that that conducted the survey.


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