Date of Thesis

Spring 2023


People tend to care about flags, but are not aware that their city has a flag. A recent wave of flag redesigns has been happening in the United States since a 2015 TED Talk was posted widely criticizing city flags. This subject prompted my professor, Daniel Alvord, to ask for a research assistant for his project to understand this phenomenon. For my thesis, I focus on a specific flag redesign initiative in Syracuse, NY, through an ethnographic case study. By applying previous urban sociological literature to my focus on flag redesigns, I can connect the Syracuse community member’s increased civic pride to the city’s ability to generate growth. I find that the Syracuse community members want to create a new identity that they have control over, which they feel represents their city. I find that the flag is a way for Syracuse to create a community and promote an aesthetic image to stimulate economic growth.


Sociology, Urban, Flags, City, Syracuse, Growth

Access Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts



Minor, Emphasis, or Concentration

Legal Studies

First Advisor

Daniel Alvord

Second Advisor

Matthew Baltz