Planting the Flag - Market Square Park

Signs of Gentrification

Planting the Flag - Market Square Park

Cleveland, Ohio 44115, United States

Created By: Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless


If you’ve visited this neighborhood to shop at the West Side Market or have had dinner in one of the many restaurants, you have likely seen this flag, and probably didn’t think much about it. Throughout this tour you will take a closer look at things that are easy to walk right past, without considering why they’re here.

Today this neighborhood is widely known as Ohio City, but many people don’t realize this is the result of a rebranding campaign in the 1990’s. To the people who have lived here for decades, this will always be The Near West Side. The effort to redefine the neighborhood can be symbolized by the flags you see planted around Market Square Park. Although this is just one spot where you can see the Ohio City flag on display, it is a staple symbol that can be seen outside businesses and homes. Why do we plant flags? When nations “discover” new land they wish to claim, they plant a flag. When new “up and coming” neighborhoods are “discovered” by real estate developers, they often invite new residents to “settle” in the area. The language of colonization has been used for decades to describe neighborhoods in Cleveland, New York City, and other cities with booming real estate markets. The Near West Side has been commodified, gentrified and colonized, with the Ohio City flag becoming recognized as an elite or exclusive aesthetic.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Signs of Gentrification


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