Orlando’s new official city flag – picked out of 1,100 contest entries from around the world – was designed by UCF graduate and graphic designer Tim Eggert of Winter Park.

The design depicts Lake Eola’s iconic fountain surrounded by a letter “O” created from an arch and its reflection in the water. The official description of the flag denotes that the “O” represents “unity, connectivity and timelessness” and the gold represents “sunshine, hope and happiness.”

“The Lake Eola fountain was an obvious choice because it stands for Orlando,” said Eggert, who graduated in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in art and now works at Kimley-Horn, a national engineering firm with an office in Orlando.

He said he wanted to enter the contest because he grew up in Central Florida and is proud of Orlando and what it has become. Before the city council made the choice official Monday, Eggert’s idea also received the most votes out of four finalists in a public poll.

The new flag will be raised Monday, the city’s 142nd birthday. The design replaces a 1980 flag that also showed the fountain and a skyline of buildings and trees with the words “City of Orlando.”

Eggert explained a little more about the process, the symbolism within the flag and why he’s proud to live in this city.

Q:  How did your idea for the flag first take shape?

A:  The fountain seemed like a good foundation for the flag since it is a landmark of Orlando and has come to be an important meeting place to many people. I really wanted to have a reflection in the water and forming an ‘O’ seemed like the best way to incorporate that.

Q: Unity was a central theme in the design from the start. Why did you feel so strongly about incorporating unity?

A: Orlando is a diverse city — both in its residents as well as in the people who visit it. I wanted to convey unity and a sense of welcoming with the design.

Q: Unity was a central theme in the design from the start. Why did you feel so strongly about incorporating unity?

A: All entrants had to submit a hand-drawn design on a note card. From there I drew it on the computer, and then we tweaked it over the course of a few in-person meetings. It was very collaborative. I came up with the revised look of the fountain spray, and they had the idea to split the color to have the top be white and the bottom be blue. We introduced the gold in the final stage, and we chose a blue that reflected the city’s brand.

Q: In addition to unity, there are now several layers of symbolism within the flag’s design. What is your take on those?

A: As the design evolved, so did the meaning. Parts that evolved were the colors and the reflection in the water. The reflection (seven shapes total) stands for the six commissioners as well as the mayor. That was something that was incorporated after tweaking the design and meeting with the city’s staff. The introduction of the orange/gold color was also part of the design process. I love the addition of gold to the flag and the meaning of sunshine and hope it brings.

Q: How does it feel to know that you’re part of this historic day at the official flag raising and that you’ve played a unique part in creating a lasting symbol for this city?

A: I love how the flag raising is coinciding with the city’s 142nd birthday. It’s exciting to be a part of history.

Q: This isn’t the first community project you’ve been involved in. You have a sunset painting on an art box by the downtown YMCA in the Mills 50 district. Why do you take such pride in being an active part in this community?

A: I grew up in Orlando and have seen this city become a uniquely creative place. The arts are all around this city, and I think it is important to help cultivate that by being involved.

Q: Why are you proud to be a UCF Knight and represent this university?

A: I’m proud to be a UCF Knight because I loved my experience there. I had some amazing professors and learned so much. It shaped who I am professionally and personally.