LEAFY SPURGE: To Former Bismarck Mayor Marlan “Hawk” Haakenson for attempting to derail the University of North Dakota’s search for a new nickname by registering trade names that are on UND’s list of possible nicknames. It’s a going-nowhere stunt that speaks more to foolish desperation than advancing the reputation of a great university. “Hawk,” who counts among his claims to fame embarrassing his city routinely when he was mayor, registered several trade names last week – Fighting Hawks, Nodaks and North Stars. His purpose was to keep them from UND, and thus make the difficult transition from the school’s old name to a new one all the more difficult. A spokesman for UND said the university does business as the University of North Dakota, not its nickname, and therefore doesn’t need a trade name registration. It’s another chapter in the quixotic saga of die-hard fans of the retired nickname. It would be laughable if it weren’t so cynical.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To the Arts Partnership and Fargo native Jackson Ridl, a student at the University of Minnesota, for moving ahead with a city flag contest. Several designs have been submitted (see the Sept. 16 Forum) and all are imaginative and colorful. Some are excellent representations of Fargo and the Red River Valley, others less so, and others are, well, just weird. But the number and variety of designs suggest interest is high in a flag for the city. Fargo’s identity does not depend on a banner, but a recognizable flag that incorporates a representative design would be a nice addition to the city’s brand.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To Karl Keene of Moorhead and Jill St. John of Fargo for heading up a fledgling Bernie Sanders for President campaign. They say they have about 200 members from across North Dakota and nearby western Minnesota. That’s impressive, given that the Hillary Clinton campaign seems to have no presence in North Dakota. The leaders who are “feeling the Bern” say enthusiasm for the Vermont senator is surprisingly strong in the area. His message, they say, resonates, especially with young people and on college campuses. Sanders has been polling very well against Clinton in early caucus and primary states. His campaign crowds are large and have surprised many in the political punditry. And he has some support in North Dakota, one of the reddest of red states. Nice to see political activism from the grass roots.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.

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