Cook County unveils new flag for first time since 1961

After greater than a half-century of getting a flag that was typically deemed forgettable, Cook County is getting a new banner that contains a cleaner format that performs up the county’s historical past.

County officers on Tuesday unveiled their decide for the county’s new flag, which was introduced on nationwide Flag Day and is called the “I Will Banner.”

Created by Glenbrook South High School pupil Drew Duffy, the new flag contains a circle of seven-sided purple stars on the left and a sideways blue, inexperienced and white Y-shaped stripe to the suitable. The blue symbolizes the county’s rivers and Lake Michigan, inexperienced is for the county’s nature and Forest Preserves, and white — the colour of locomotive steam — represents innovation and commerce.

The Y form pays homage to the merging of the branches of the Chicago River at Wolf Point downtown and mirrors the town’s municipal system, Duffy stated.

The flag’s title comes from a statue designed by artist Charles Holloway for the 1893 Columbian Exposition of a goddess determine suited for battle with a breastplate that learn “I Will.” The title “embraces the fighting spirit and go-getter attitude of the people of Cook County,” in keeping with the flag’s description.

The six stars are every seven-pointed to symbolize every county area, plus Chicago and the Forest Preserves. There are six stars to symbolize the county’s founding in 1831; the opening of its flagship hospitals; the division of public well being; forest preserves, the Arthur J Audy house for juvenile detainees; and the county’s townships and native governments.

The stars’ purple colour, Duffy stated, is to symbolize the county’s daring historical past of “protest and progress,” together with Martin Luther King Jr.’s fights for equal housing and staff rights in Chicago, Jane Addams’ founding of Hull House, and the Jewish residents of Skokie pushing again towards Nazi protests.

The present flag, raised for the first time over the county constructing on June 13, 1961, has a white background with the phrases “Cook County” in purple above and under a middle seal. In the center is a gold county map surrounded by two blue circles with 39 gold stars. The stars symbolize the county’s 38 townships with one barely bigger star representing the town of Chicago. That design violates what the North American Vexillological Association considers a compelling flag: straightforward to recollect with significant symbolism, just a few colours, and no lettering or seals.

Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton, a flag fanatic and NAVA member who headed up the county’s choice committee, described the present map as a “seal on a bedsheet, an S.O.B. It’s not visually arresting.”

The 1961 flag was drawn up by county bureaucrats, together with the county’s public relations director, then-Treasurer Francis Lorenz and the freeway division’s cartographer. This time, the county invited highschool college students to submit designs to be judged by an advisory panel.

The county acquired 297 submissions after its name for a new flag in late 2019. Those had been narrowed right down to 23 by the panel. Semifinalists had been paired with mentors to refine their submissions, which had been then winnowed down to 6 finalists this previous March.

Duffy’s design began out as a pen and ink drawing and was sharpened with the assistance of mentor Martin Burciaga, a graphic designer within the county’s Bureau of Administration. The 17-year-old Duffy has had a love of flags since he was a baby, and stated he beefed up the “I Will” flag’s symbolism with assist from former city historical past lecturers at Glenbrook South.

“You don’t need to put words on a piece of art on a flag to show what it means because we have so many amazing symbols already,” he stated.

“I Will” acquired the plurality of votes from the choice committee after some passionate debate, Britton stated. Board President Toni Preckwinkle agreed with the ultimate decide.

Commissioners had been anticipated to approve a decision saying the choice Tuesday in committee and in a vote on the full County Board meeting Thursday. A flag elevating ceremony at Daley Plaza is scheduled for Aug. 30.

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