Here’s your pick for the best design in our Portland flag contest

Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. It’s been a heavy week. Let’s decompress with this aerial video of people paddleboarding at Higgins Beach.

What we’re talking about

After three rounds of rating and voting, expert judges and hundreds of BDN Portland readers have chosen a winner in our contest to design a better flag.

I’m pleased to announce that the winner is Matthew Morey’s “Portland Beacon.

“Portland Beacon” by Matthew Morey of South Portland

“Portland Beacon” by Matthew Morey of South Portland

(If you’re reading this post in your email and can’t see the image, click here to check it out.)

The idea for the contest started when Seth Koenig wrote up a blog post in late December about a TED Talk that criticized the design of Portland’s current flag. In his talk, radio host Roman Mars referred to it as an “S.O.B.,” or “Seal On a Bedsheet.”

We put out a call for designers to send ideas. We got 84 proposals. Of those, judges narrowed the picks down to the 10 best. Then you voted for your favorite three designs.

Of those three, you said that “Portland Beacon,” was the best. Second place was Jewel of Casco Bay, by Jeff Woodbury, and third was “Resurgam Flag 2″ by Jeremy Hammond.

Morey’s flag features a lighthouse, which may not be a literal physical characteristic of the city, but does carry some symbolic weight.

Part of the purpose of the design, Morey explained, was to “display a beacon of pride in being a Portlander and a beacon of welcome to all others … The lighthouse also represents Portland’s rich history in the maritime industries which helped Portland become the diverse, ever-growing city it is today.”

Congrats to Matthew. Next question: Who wants to take the next step and make this Portland’s next flag?


The city’s most dangerous intersections for cyclists, mapped — Sam Shepherd crunched the numbers on the intersections in the city that saw a disproportionate number of bicycle accidents — cars hitting bikes and vice versa — between 2011 and 2015. What he found:

“When you factor in the number of cars that typically pass through it, the intersection of Adelaide and Read streets at Forest Avenue was the most dangerous for cyclists over those five years. In other words, the ratio of bike crashes to traffic was higher than at other intersections.”

Mercy Hospital is offering buyouts to nearly 100 employees — Joe Lawlor reported last evening that the buyouts were offered to employees over the age of 60 who have been on the job 10 years or more. It’s “an effort to trim expenses as part of its plan to consolidate operations at its Fore River complex,” he writes.

The New York Times spends 36 hours in Portland — And the writer didn’t even mention our various coffee options. Madness.

Big ideas

Pokemon Go is what the world needs right now — I feel like we’re entering the post-backlash news cycle of the summer’s biggest cultural phenomenon. After the terror attacks and violence home and abroad, and during an extraordinarily acrimonious election, maybe playing a game outside with friends isn’t that bad.

My friend taught me that fly-fishing and life lessons are synonymous — “In fly-fishing and in life … the memorable moments, big and small, are captured when you’re fully invested in the present.”

Correction: Last night’s newsletter cited court documents that alleged that a pregnant city employee, who sued Portland for discrimination after she was fired, was kicked in the stomach while on the job. That was incorrect. She was “nearly” kicked, the complaint states. We updated the post this morning as soon as we discovered the error. We’ll strive to do better.

Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Dan MacLeod at, or tweet @dsmacleod.

As always, like BDN Portland on Facebook for more local coverage.

Dan MacLeod

About Dan MacLeod

Dan MacLeod is the managing editor of the Bangor Daily News. He's an Orland native who moved to Portland in 2002 and now lives in Unity. He's been a journalist since 2008, and previously worked for the New York Post and the Brooklyn Paper.