While a city logo provides a face for the local government and marketing campaigns work to attract outsiders, a flag gives the community itself a symbol to rally behind and a tangible way to show civic pride. Green River has had banners and flag proposals in the past, but no community flag has ever existed until now.
Frontier Fellow Ashley Ross and AmeriCorps VISTA Jarod Hamm worked together with the community to create a flag for Green River. They began by surveying residents and researching town history, learning what symbols, colors, and shapes were representative of Green River’s past, present, and future. With this information in mind they sketched, refined, sketched some more, and presented 20 rough options to community members at a design workshop for the city’s downtown plan.
From the community feedback, three finalists were designed and a voting booth was created to determine the winner during the week of Melon Days, an over 100-year festival celebrating the melon harvest. One option was the overwhelming favorite among Green River locals and visitors to Melon Days with over 60% of the vote.
Also in September, Jarod visited two of Mrs. Suarez’ Green River High School sewing classes to teach about flag symbolism, design, and history. Students designed flags to represent each of their respective families based on the principles outlined in class. They then made the flags by hand as an introduction to basic sewing, and displayed them next to the voting booth at Melon Days.
When consulting with the community, it was very clear that their flag should include watermelon which has a longstanding tradition in Green River’s agricultural history, and the Book Cliffs that define the town landscape. The flag begins with a meandering green stripe to represent the titular river and also pay homage to the famous Green River melons. It flows below a dusty red-orange silhouette of the iconic Book Cliffs. When we look above, big blue skies are represent not only Green River’s climate, but also its outlook. The star is split by the crossroads of river, rail, and road, referencing the town’s identity as a waypoint, and the sections radiating from the center also give tribute the missile base of the past. It is rotated at an 18.83° angle for the year that “Greenriver” got its name.
This is just the beginning of the journey for our flag, and we hope that residents of Green River will be proud to fly it high.
To order a flag: Fill out this form or stop by Epicenter. To decrease cost, there will be one large order once enough individual orders have been submitted. We will contact you to collect the payment.
We have a unique opportunity for a special designer with a wide and varied skill-set: a chance to spend a year living and working in a small town in Utah. To help citizens of this rural community lead better lives. To demonstrate the value of design in community problem solving. To gain a one-of-a-kind experience in an alternative model of professional practice. To learn new skills. To improve our non-profit. To improve yourself.
We believe this desert town can bloom, but there is work to be done. We’d like to work with you to do it.
Who We Are
Epicenter is a design-driven community development organization that serves the rural town of Green River, Utah. Epicenter strives to provide local solutions to community problems in three sectors: affordable housing advocacy and repair, business development, and arts and culture. An agile team of designers, creatives, and doers, we have a community-centered and multidisciplinary approach to problem solving and innovation. Here, we nurture local businesses, artists, entrepreneurs, and ideas.
We’re dedicated to this town and our practice, but constantly building on what we do and redefining how we do it. We are looking for more ways to engage our community and to help citizens envision what the community can be through strong visuals.That’s where you come in.
Who You Are
— You’re an adept designer who is looking to take a deep dive into a rural community to learn about its issues and to strategize how its strengths can overcome its weaknesses.
— You have an eye for detail, a mind for numbers, and a willingness to get your boots dirty.
— You have exquisite verbal, visual, and written communication skills.
— You dream of open spaces, big skies, bold colors, and promising futures.
— You have experience and/or interest in working on a team with different skills and backgrounds.
What You Will Do (examples)
– Document, demonstrate, and articulate the value of design in addressing Green River’s problems.
– Execute graphic design for Epicenter’s projects, programs, events, and the organization as a whole.
– Strategically gather information and analyze data to help determine community needs and wants.
– Make presentations for Epicenter and the City of Green River based on data gathered.
– Create architectural renderings for envisioning revitalization of the built environment.
– Facilitate opportunities to improve local businesses and local workforce.
– Work with motivated local organizations and co-workers to improve this community.
Compensation and AmeriCorps VISTA
The position is a twelve-month, full-time VISTA position that is able to be extended up to two additional years, or with successful fundraising, become a full-time salaried position. VISTA members receive a living allowance, a health insurance benefit, a relocation allowance, pre-service orientation training, assistance in finding housing, and an education award of $5,730 or cash award of $1,500 at successful completion of service.
AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) is a national service program designed to fight poverty, originally envisioned by President John F. Kennedy. Most current Epicenter staff members originally arrived to Epicenter via AmeriCorps VISTA and we are proud to offer this position once again.
We have funding, community partners, and the initiative to make this town as vibrant as its backdrop. All we’re missing is you. Come join us this year.
To apply, send your CV/resume, design portfolio, and a one-page cover letter to VISTA@ruralandproud.org by Thursday, June 4 at 9am MST. If you have any specific questions about VISTA, please visit the Corporation for National & Community Service website. For more information on Epicenter, visit ruralandproud.org.
We look forward to meeting you.
I’m not much of a planner. I very much prefer to go where the wind blows me and experience things as they come. When I tell people I have no idea what I’m doing, it’s as close to the truth as I can put in words.
At the same time, I work full time as a designer for a tech company, which, I know, seems awfully incongruous with the previous paragraph. But, even with the relative security of a full-time job, for as long as I can recall, there has been a constant nag, an un-scratchable itch in the back of my mind that takes issue with consistency, and finds comfort in the removal of myself from my comfort zone. The intersection of all this is how I found myself in Green River, Utah.
I left my job for a month in search of this displacement; in search of things that would better shape my understanding of the point where life, creativity, and community meet. To see if I couldn’t use my skills for a more direct good, and come away with a better sense of purpose. For a month, I played in the dirt, swam in rivers, explored endless foreign landscapes, and slept in the desert under the stars. I worked with dedicated individuals, who believe strongly in the power of community, and work hard to produce tangible, positive change. I met friendly strangers, painted pictures with excitable kids, drew, printed, photographed, taught, and learned.
All the while, I was so enamored with the beauty in the experience, I had almost forgotten about the comfort zone I had left back at home. My time in Green River did more than satisfy an itch. It showed me the upside of taking risks and the faults in standing still. It demonstrated the power of immersing yourself in a community to spur change, instead of approaching it from the outside. And, perhaps most importantly, it proved that there is always more to be found on the less traveled paths of the human experience.