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Denver designer creating flags for all of the city’s 78 neighborhoods

DENVER -- All of Denver's neighborhoods have their own unique identity.

That has inspired a Denver city planner to set out on a quest to design a flag for each of the city's 78 official neighborhoods.

"I'm not an expert on most neighborhoods or even an expert on flag design. I'm just kind of one man on a mission," 31-year-old Steve Chester said.

Chester spends a week or two designing each flag. However, he often spends countless hours before that researching what makes the neighborhood so special.

"Some just kind of come to me and some take a lot of research. I make it a point to go to each neighborhood if I haven't been there before to check out the architecture and the history and some of the landmarks of the neighborhood," Chester said.

Chester is a city planner, but he pursues his hobby in his spare time away from work.

He started with Congress Park, his favorite neighborhood in Denver. Its flag includes a silver strip, which represents the street car lines that once passed through the neighborhood.

He's since designed flags for 10 other neighborhoods. Some certainly standout. For Barnum, Chester's flag shows a red elephant that represents P.T. Barnum, for whom the area is named.

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Cheesman Park's flag depicts the columns found inside the park's pavilion.

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The Lowry neighborhood flag features a propeller, which pays homage to the Air Force base that once was in the neighborhood.

"They're hard. Every line, every shape, every color on a flag has to have some kind of meaning," he said.

Chester has a personal interest in graphic design and flags. He said the project is a great way to combine his two passions.

"Just walking around the city, I think of ideas for a flag. I've got my feelers out wherever I go. I kind of daydream during meetings and write ideas down in my sketchbook," he said.

Chester currently doesn't have any concrete plans to turn his designs into actual flags, but he said he's been contacted by several people interested in making that happen.

Instead, he said the goal is to spark a conversation about what makes Denver's neighborhoods unique and to celebrate it.

"That was my goal with the project. Does this create a symbol for this neighborhood that can bring people together?" he said.