History Behind The Chicago Flag As Turns It Turns 100

CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s one of the most recognizable city flags in America.

Tuesday marks the 100th Birthday of the Chicago flag.

What is it about the stars and stripes that makes the Chicago flag so popular? CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez talked with some flag waving Chicagoans to find out.

“For a city flag it is truly unique and really beautiful,” said Russell Lewis, Chicago History Museum.

A flag so popular, a woman plans to wave it, as a tattoo on her wrist, forever.

“100 years to celebrate the Chicago flag and here I am. My husband doesn’t know I’m here. He’ll find out a dinner,” said Katie Carillo Majewski.

A tattoo artist said he does at least two Chicago flags, of every size, each week.

“It’s a very tattoo-able design,” said Dave McNair, tattoo artist. “It looks good as a tattoo.”

There’s meaning behind everything on the flag.

“The colors, the positions, the point on the star means something too,” Lewis said.

The stars represent the Chicago fire, both world expositions, and fort Dearborn. The white stripes represent the north, west and south side of the city; the blue, our lake, river and canal.

The Chicago History Museum will celebrate the anniversary by unveiling rare artifacts, but many of us will display our pride on everything from onsies, to shot glasses. Cheers to 100 years.

“If you were from the city you have lived through sports, weather, neighborhoods – represent food,” Carillo Majewski said. “And the flag represents all of that.”

While the flags designer Wallace Rice didn’t want it used commercially, Russell Louis at the history museum thinks he’d probably get a kick out of its huge popularity.

There has been talk of a fifth star – had Chicago won the Olympics for example or in honor of President Obama or for the Special Olympics. Those ideas haven’t galvanized people just yet, but there could be more stars coming.

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