Chicago Symbols I
Chicago has several important symbols that represent Chicago history and culture. One of the symbols is the Chicago flag. Chosen in 1939, the Chicago flag flies in front of important buildings and in front of schools. You can also see the flag on city vehicles such as police cars. Since the flag conveys information about the city it represents, let’s take a look at what’s on the flag. There are four red stars, which represent four very important historic milestones:
The Battle of Fort Dearborn of 1812. The Fort was built in 1803 here in what was called the Northwest Territory to lay claim to the area for the United States. Soldiers and settlers at Fort Dearborn tried to defend the Fort from Indian attack, but were overcome by the attack and had to flee. The Fort was later rebuilt and more settlers came to the area that would become Chicago in 1837.
The Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The summer of 1871 was very dry from drought and there were other conditions such as wood frame houses that made Chicago susceptible to the ravages of fire that burned for three days and destroyed most of the city.
World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. In 1893 Chicago held a world’s fair to commemorate the arrival of Columbus in the New World and to show how great Chicago had become and how it grew after the devastating Fire. Millions of people came to Chicago to see all the attractions.
Century of Progress World’s Fair of 1933-34. Chicago hosted another very successful fair commemorating the hundred years since Chicago was incorporated. It was held on the lakefront near where the Museum Campus and Soldier Field are located.
Also part of the flag are the two blue stripes that symbolize the north and south branches of the Chicago River. The three remaining white stripes are for the three sides of the city: north, south, and west sides.
For some more information about Chicago’s flag and how it stacks up to other flags of American cities, take a look at the following article from Chicago Magazine: