The Story of Chicago’s Four-Star City Flag

A close-up of a star on the Chicago city flag hanging on the wall inside the Harold Washington Library Center. Photo by Robert Loerzel.
Photo by Robert Loerzel

‘People love Chicago more because the flag is so cool’

Photos by Robert Loerzel

Råvad’s Municipal Device

Chicago Tribune illustrations
Chicago History Museum, ICHi-088684
Chicago History Museum, ICHi-088680
Photos by Robert Loerzel

Alderman Kearns pushes for a flag

The father of the flag

A scene from “The Masque of Illinois,” with performers representing (from left to right) England, Illinois, Belgium, America, and France.

Rice’s rules

The Chicago Municipal Code of 1922, Chapter XXVII, Article I, 1020.

What the flag means

The blue stripes

The white stripes

1880 map by the West Chicago Park Commissioners (image: Boston Public Library)
A page from the October 2, 1921, Chicago Herald and Examiner, posted on the Chicago Detours website.

The flag’s geometry

The stars

A new flag at a time of war

William Hale Thompson

How many points?

Chicago Herald and Examiner
Chicago City Council motion, Illinois Regional Archives Depository
Municipal Reference Desk, Chicago Public Library

Adding a third star

And then, there were four stars

Photos by Robert Loerzel

A fifth star?

Richard J. Daley. Photo by László Kondor, UIC

Out of obscurity

Photo by Robert Loerzel
Chicago Tribune; Chicago Police Department
Photo by Robert Loerzel
Photos by Robert Loerzel
Photos by Robert Loerzel
Photos by Robert Loerzel
Photo courtesy of Fuzzy Gerdes, ChicagoFlagTattoos.com
Photo courtesy of Fuzzy Gerdes, ChicagoFlagTattoos.com
Photo courtesy of Fuzzy Gerdes, ChicagoFlagTattoos.com
Photo courtesy of Fuzzy Gerdes, ChicagoFlagTattoos.com

Mysteries of the city flag

Photo by Robert Loerzel
The Chicago flag that circumnavigated the world, c. 1947. Chicago History Museum, ICHi-66334
Photos by Robert Loerzel
Photo by Robert Loerzel

Further reading

Footnotes

--

--

--

Journalist/photographer/author http://www.alchemyofbones.com. @newcity calls me Best Chicago Twitterer for News. I also tweet at @midlandauthors @new_in_chicago

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Too Short for a Blog Post, Too Long for a Tweet 288

Humans May Have Been in Americas for 130,000 Years

Footprints in solid ground at White Sands National Park in foreground, blue sky in background

10 airplane that you didn’t know existed

READ/DOWNLOAD=?

Kunkle’s of Pennsylvania and Germany- Glassblowers

The Historic Reasons which have led American Relations with Iran to be so poor.

Veterans (Weimar Germany Series)

Who Killed Aditya Karikalan? The Ponniyin Selvan Mystery

Aditha Karikalan murder of Virapandiya Ponniyin Selvan
Robert Loerzel

Robert Loerzel

Journalist/photographer/author http://www.alchemyofbones.com. @newcity calls me Best Chicago Twitterer for News. I also tweet at @midlandauthors @new_in_chicago

More from Medium

Mayor Johnson: A happy day in Dallas

Three Upcoming Films to see in 2022

Hawk’s Valor

The Quest to Nowhere Goes Somewhere