ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Wichita, Kansas may have some explaining to do to New Mexico. The symbol on Wichita’s city flag looks a lot like the Zia.
“This symbol means a lot to a lot of people. It has a lot of cultural value to it,” Greg Sanchez said.
The Zia symbol is cherished in New Mexico, over the years becoming a sign of pride. However, a city in another state is using a remarkably similar symbol to show pride in their home too.
The symbol featured on the city flag of Wichita, Kansas isn’t quite a Zia. Their flag only has three rays extending from its sun, and a circle in the middle.
“Our flag really pays homage to our history,” Susie Santo, CEO of Visit Witchita, said. The Wichita flag has been flying since 1937, created more than a decade after the New Mexico flag.
“It’s really been in the last five years that the flag is a rallying cry for the spirit of the city,” Santo said. According to the Wichita Chamber of Commerce, the creator of the flag was an artist who won a contest, and the symbol has an entirely different meaning.
“The Hoag in the center of the flag is a symbol that means ‘permanent home,'” Santo said.
People in Albuquerque, however, believe the artist simply tweaked our Zia and took credit for the work.
KRQE News 13 did ask Wichita Tourism officials if they suspect the artist ripped off the Zia Symbol back in the ’30s, but they chose to ignore that question.
Now, the Zia Pueblo says it’s looking into the creation.