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Johnson City, Tennessee (U.S.)

Carter, Sullivan and Washington Counties

Last modified: 2024-02-17 by rick wyatt
Keywords: johnson city | tennessee | carter county | sullivan county | washington county |
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[Flag of Johnson City, Tennessee] image by Masao Okazaki, 2 September 2022

See also:

Description of the flag

A new flag was adopted by a vote of the city commission on September 1, 2022, The previous flag had been adopted in 1964.

Agenda summary for adoption resolution:

Newspaper article about adoption:

Symbolism of new flag (from agenda summary)
"This flag design is comprised of elements that derive meaning from Johnson City's past, present, and future. The converging green lines represent the rails of the original railroad track Henry Johnson leveraged as an opportunity for building a business and what would ultimately become Johnson City. Green symbolizes prosperity, stability, growth, and environmental stewardship. The rails border a yellow triangle that symbolizes the City's pathway into the future. Yellow symbolizes optimism and originality- fitting for the eternal hope and tenacity of our community's entrepreneurial spirit.
The rail element leads to a blue horizon featuring three stars - or the Tri-Cities - with Johnson City represented at center. The stars are a nod to the Tennessee state flag "tri-star" designed by Johnson City native Col. Lee Roy Reeves. The blue symbolizes trustworthiness and security, while white symbolizes unity. The three stars placed above the green and yellow elements serve to reinforce the flag's connection to the City seal.

The rails and pathway combined resemble a mountain, which is a crucial component of the City's logo and seal. The triangular shape and green and yellow also pay tribute to the City's original flag design.

This design encompasses the North American Vexillological Association's five principles are good flag design: simplicity, meaningful symbolism, two or three basic colors, no lettering or seals, and distinctiveness."
Masao Okazaki, 2 September 2022

Based on what I can find, the flag was designed by Frank Leroy Knisley Jr. This is a bit strange, since Knisley died one year before Knott made his comment saying he created the flag. So we know they are not both the same person.
Daniel Renterķa, 30 January 2024

Previous flag

[Flag of Johnson City, Tennessee] image by Eugene Ipavec, 22 April 2009

I received a photo of the flag of the City of Johnson City, Tennessee, from Keisha Bruce, writer/editor, City of Johnson City Office of Community Relations. It is green with yellow border and central horizontal yellow stripe with seal-like device in the center.

About the city:
"Johnson City is a city in Carter, Sullivan, and Washington Counties in the U.S. state of Tennessee, with most of the city being in Washington County. The population was 55,469 at the 2000 census. Johnson City is currently ranked the #25 "Best Small Place for Business and Careers" in the USA by Forbes, and #8 "Best Place for African-Americans to Retire" in the USA by Black Enterprise Magazine. Johnson City is the principal city of the Johnson City Metropolitan Statistical Area, a metropolitan area that covers Carter, Unicoi, and Washington counties and had a combined population of 181,607 at the 2000 census. The estimated population for the metropolitan statistical area in 2007 was 193,554. The Johnson City MSA is also a component of the Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area - commonly known as the "Tri-Cities" region."
- from Wikipedia:,_Tennessee
Valentin Poposki, 20 April 2009

I designed the flag for Johnson City, TN in 1964 while an art student at ETSU.
Ken G. Knott, M.D., 13 August 2017


[Municipal seal] image located by Masao Okazaki, 8 December 2022

Seen in this article:
Masao Okazaki, 8 December 2022

Earlier Seal

[Municipal seal] image located by Paul Bassinson, 13 December 2019

Paul Bassinson, 13 December 2019