Sunday, February 18, 2024

The New Cook County Flag, Explained. (2021)

In celebration and recognition of the 190th anniversary (2021) of the founding of Cook County, the Cook County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to create a contest to redesign Cook County's flag in December 2019.

The Flag Advisory Panel received nearly 300 submissions from students at 40 schools throughout Cook County and narrowed the field to 25 semifinalist teams in 2020.

The top 25 semifinalist teams were selected by an appointed Flag Advisory Panel. In December 2020, semifinalist teams were paired with volunteer professional design mentors to clarify and refine the students' artwork, symbolism, and descriptions. The Flag Advisory Panel selected the top six finalist flag designs based on composition and representation in July 2021. 
The "I Will" flag, designed by Drew Duffy and Martin Burciaga, has been named the official new flag of Cook County. It's a representation of our lands, culture, history, and the core values that bring us together — different from a depiction of the physical boundaries that separate. The flag ensures that we reflect on the past while focusing on what we will build moving forward and continue striving to make the best County we can.
Looks Great!

The "I Will" Cook County flag. Blue symbolizes the County's great lake and rivers, green for natural lands and riverbanks, red for social change, and the blank canvas of white for the innovation that has thrived and is to come. 

The central "Y" shape highlights the regional rivers joining at Wolf Point while harkening back to the original County Seal, and the "Y" symbol of the municipal device of Chicago is used throughout Chicago to promote pride in the city.

Each of the seven points on the star represents each County region, the city of Chicago, and the Forest Preserves, which join together to symbolize residents' unity. The six stars represent six foundational moments marking who we are. The founding of Cook County. Our commitment to health care through the founding of Cook County Hospitals Stroger and Provident. Defeating disparities through the founding of the Cook County Department of Public Health. The preservation of national lands through the founding of the Cook County Forest Preserves. Cook County's historic efforts in family and juvenile justice reform and local business partnerships.

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.

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