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Chicago Flag

Updated on July 10, 2014

Chicago Flag

What's blue and white and starred with red? The official municipal flag of the city of Chicago, Illinois! Read on to learn more about the history Chicago flag, current news about the Chicago flag, and places where you can buy Chicago flags and other flag related merchandise of your own!


The Chicago flag's design is, as pictured, two two blue horizontal stripes on a field of white. The rules require that each stripe be one-sixth the height of the full flag, and placed slightly less than one-sixth of the way from the top and bottom. In between the two blue stripes are four red, six-pointed stars arranged in a horizontal row.


Stripes - The stripes represent geographical features of the city. Each of the white stripes represent a part of the city - from top to bottom, the North, West and South sides of the city. For the blue stripes, they represent a the blue waters of Lake Michigan and the North Branch of the Chicago River (top stripe) and the South Branch of the river and the Great Canal (bottom stripe.)

Stars and points - The stars symbolize historical events, and and the points of the stars represent important virtues or concepts. The first star represents Fort Dearborn. It was added to the flag in 1939. Its six points symbolize transportation, labor, commerce, finance, populousness, and salubrity. The second star stands for the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, and is original to the 1917 design of the flag. Its six points represent the virtues of religion, education, aesthetics, justice, beneficence, and civic pride. The third star symbolizes the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, and is original to the 1917 design. Its six points stand for political entities Chicago has belonged to and the flags that have flown over the area: France 1693, Great Britain 1763, Virginia 1778, the Northwest Territory 1798, Indiana Territory 1802, and Illinois 1818. The fourth star represents the Century of Progress Exposition (1933â1934), and was added in 1933. Its points refer to bragging rights: the United States' 2nd Largest City, Chicago's Latin Motto (Urbs in horto â City in a garden), Chicago's "I Will" Motto, the Great Central Marketplace, Wonder City, and Convention City.

A proposal in the city council in early 2009 would have allowed for the addition of a fifth star to the flag. This star would have commemorated Chicago's hosting of the 2016 Olympic Games. Unfortunately, Chicago lost the bid to host the Olympics... for now at least!

Poll: Should Chicago add another star to the flag to commemorate another event?

Should Chicago add another star to the flag to commemorate another historical event?

See results

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    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 4 years ago from Naperville, IL

      I'm really enjoying your Chicago lenses! I learned more about the flag...very interesting. Thank you.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Its a great looking flag for Chicago.

      Visited the city once and loved it! :)

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      termit_bronx 6 years ago

      The flag looks like Argentinian flag :D

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      As a Chicago born native myself, I enjoyed this lens.

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 8 years ago

      I enjoyed reading the history of the flag. What a great lens idea.

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      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      It will be interesting to see if the design does change! More lenses then too. ;)

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      flowski lm 9 years ago

      I didn't know Chicago had it's own flag, cool!