Engineered Eloquence

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Flag Design

May 27, 2015

I don’t often link to long videos because who wants to watch a 15+ minute video that they just happen to stumble across. However, this is a great TED talk; I love the fact that Chicago’s flag is set in the video as the gold standard.1 We now live in Madison, WI, which has a city flag design that follows many of the rules discussed in the video. However, the flag of Wisconsin’s largest city, Milwaukee, is mentioned instead, but not in a good way.

Below, I have linked to the three cities in which I have lived since the video piqued my interest and Milwaukee’s as a counterpoint. I have also included information about the flag designs not mentioned in the video, namely Indianapolis and Madison. Fascinating Stuff.

Video

Chicago Flag

Chicago Flag - Wikimedia

Indianapolis Flag

Indianapolis Flag - Wikimedia

Fun City Finder states the following about the flag design:

  • The red, white, and blue Indianapolis flag represents a rough map of the Circle City’s center.
  • The star symbolizes Indy’s core: Monument Circle and its namesake Soldiers and Sailors Monument.
  • The blue quadrants of the city’s banner represent residential areas, and the red is said to signify Indy’s driving force for progress, which can be seen in its ever-growing cityscape.
  • The Indianapolis flag was ranked eighth best of 150 American city flags by the North American Vexillogical Association.
  • On a personal note, I rarely saw the Indianapolis flag flying by citizens, but the Indiana State Flag is everywhere.

Madison Flag

Madison Flag - Wikimedia

Wikipedia states the following about the flag design:

  • The design consists of a light blue background bisected from lower left to upper right by a white band. These symbolize Lake Mendota and Lake Monona and the isthmus between them.
  • In the center of the flag is a black cross which symbolizes the four lakes (Mendota, Monona, Wingra and Waubesa) as well as the cross shape of the Wisconsin State Capitol building. Overlaid on the cross is an Indian Sun symbol.
  • By the North American Vexillological Association, the flag of Madison was rated eleventh best out of 150 major cities in the United States.
  • As a personal aside, I think the flag would be great as a soccer jersey. Anyone know an online entity that would create that for me?

Milwaukee Flag

Milwaukee Flag - Wikimedia

(Video found via ParisLemon)


  1. The North American Vexillological Association puts the Chicago city flag at the second best in design quality, behind only the flag of Washington, D.C.