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We need a better reason than the ones currently floated to get rid of our 60-year-old city flag.
We need a better reason than the ones currently floated to get rid of our 60-year-old city flag. (Photo: Bobby Tanzilo)

Does Milwaukee really need a new flag?

Somebody somewhere needs to sit me down in a corner and explain why the City of Milwaukee needs a new flag to replace the one we’ve had for over 60 years.

I have lots of friends in the design world – both friends and colleagues and I don't want this to seem like I'm slamming any of them. But a new flag? Why?

The flags that have made it through to the "finals" of this latest competition are all real professional. They all have lots of blue, indicating our place next to a great lake. Of course, they could also all work for Racine or Sheboygan or Ashwaubenon, for that matter.

After the blue, all these designers came up with was stars and geometric shapes that are supposed to be ... something? Meanwhile, there is nothing in these new flags about our history, about the things that made Milwaukee the city it is.

The flag we have now seems to be just fine, for a flag. It bows to our history, which is kind of what a flag ought to do. I have the feeling that the new flag forces are trying to push this thing down our throats in order to match up with all the development taking place Downtown.

First of all, Milwaukee is much more than Downtown. Secondly, does changing this flag mean we are going to go through this every 20 years or so when things change in the city? That’s ridiculous. A flag takes on meaning the longer it remains The Flag.

That first stars and stripes sewn by Betsy Ross has only become more of a symbol of our country as the decades have passed. Yes, the design altered a bit with the additions of new states, but nobody ever said, "Well we have cars now, so let’s get a new flag to honor that."

One final thing is important to this whole argument.

I’m an Uber driver. And while I drive all over the city, I almost never see a Milwaukee flag on display. I drove around the city this week for two hours; I saw three flags. And City Hall was not one of those places.

My hope is that once all these design geeks get done with their precious process, ea…

Silk Exotic won an appeal Wednesday in its battle to open a strip club Downtown.
Silk Exotic won an appeal Wednesday in its battle to open a strip club Downtown.

Silk Exotic wins federal court appeal in battle for Downtown strip club

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago Wednesday ruled, 3-0, in favor of Silk Exotic in its lawsuit against the City of Milwaukee over denial of a license to operate a strip club Downtown.

The city lost at trial in federal court last year, but appealed the decision to the 7th circuit. The verdict granted almost half a million dollars in damages and the same amount in attorney fees, putting the city on the hook for over a million dollars.

"This case requires us to visit the world of strip clubs – establishments that no one seems to want, officially, but that are somehow quite lucrative," wrote Justice Diane Wood.

The decision went on to rule against every argument made by the city.

"The City is fighting a losing battle over a regime whose time has passed," Woods wrote. She said the judicial panel found "no merit" in the arguments or actions of the city.

Silk has an identical lawsuit pending in the court of Judge Lynn Adelman which is waiting for trial. If, as expected, the city lost that case as well, the amount owed by the city would be well over $2 million.

Silk has offered to give up on damages if the city approved a license to operate. Silk has applied several times for a license in various parts of the city, but each time the Utilities and Licensing Committee has voted against the club.

Stay tuned to OnMilwaukee for more developments.

Justice Rebecca Bradley is facing an onslaught of revelations about her past.
Justice Rebecca Bradley is facing an onslaught of revelations about her past. (Photo: Rebecca Bradley Facebook)

Judge Rebecca Bradley facing the torture of death by a thousand cuts

In 10th century China, there was a form of torture and capital punishment called lingchi which was a slow slicing of your captured enemy, usually resulting in death.

The practice, finally outlawed in 1905, spawned the semi-popular saying, "Death by a thousand cuts," coming to mean a slow and continued buildup of information that eventually achieved a dastardly result.

Hello Rebecca Bradley.

Bradley, in case you are in the vast majority of people who don’t pay particular attention to races for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, is a sitting justice, running now for a full 10-year-term. She was appointed by Gov. Scott Walker; it was the third time he appointed her to one judgeship or another.

She is also currently in the middle of a prime example of death by a thousand cuts, played out almost exclusively in the largest newspaper in the state, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Here’s the order of cuts so far in the paper, which doesn’t do much well anymore, but it does do stuff like this.

March 4

Bradley left a session of the court while the justices were hearing oral arguments in order to give a speech to the state chamber of commerce, a group that has spent heavily on her behalf.

March 7

The paper discovered things Bradley wrote for the Marquette Tribune 24 years ago while attending the university. Among the writings, the paper had this quote from Bradley’s writings, following the election of Bill Clinton: "Either you condone drug use, homosexuality, AIDS-producing sex, adultery and murder and are therefore a bad person, or you didn't know that he supports abortion on demand and socialism, which means you are dumb. Have I offended anyone? Good – some of you really need to wake up." She also wrote: "How sad that the lives of degenerate drug addicts and queers are valued more than the innocent victims of more prevalent ailments."

March 8

Here comes another one from her days as a college student. The quote from the paper: "Women even declare some right t…

Bo Ryan resigned unexpectedly in December and the UW investigated an affair with a masseuse.
Bo Ryan resigned unexpectedly in December and the UW investigated an affair with a masseuse. (Photo: David Bernacchi)

UW investigated alleged affair between Bo Ryan and massage therapist

Ever since Bo Ryan suddenly stepped down as the basketball coach at the University of Wisconsin, rumors of an alleged extra-marital affair have circulated as one of the reasons for the unexpected resignation. 

On Saturday, Deadspin reported that the university investigated those allegations from the woman in the alleged affair and reported that Ryan had not misused any university resources. The full Deadspin report can be found here

The Wisconsin State Journal later Saturday reported the identity of the woman as confirmed by the university and released copies of the woman's original email to the university in which she made a series of claims about Ryan and their affair. The update from the newspaper is here.

Ryan and Athletic Director Barry Alvarez said at the time that the resignation had nothing to do with the affair or the investigation. Their position has not changed.  Ryan released this statement on Saturday.