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Springfield, Illinois (U.S.)

Sangamon County

Last modified: 2019-08-09 by rick wyatt
Keywords: springfield | illinois | sangamon county |
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[Springfield, Illinois flag] 3:5 image(s) by permission of David B. Martucci
image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright.



See also:


Current Flag

Text and image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright. Image(s) from American City Flags by permission of David B. Martucci.

Design

Springfield's flag has a dark blue field. On a flag of 3 by 5 units, 20 white five-pointed stars (all oriented upward) form a circle 2 units in diameter in the upper hoist half of the flag, about one-quarter unit from the top and one-half unit from the hoist. In the center of the circle is a large red five-pointed star bordered in white, one point oriented to the top. Centered across the bottom of the flag in gold block letters in an Arial-type font one-third unit in height is SPRINGFIELD ILLINOIS (without punctuation).
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Symbolism

The 20 white stars represent the number of states in the Union before Illinois was admitted in 1818. The large red star represents Springfield as the capital of Illinois, the 21st state.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Selection

A contest was conceived by the poet, Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931), a native of Springfield, and sponsored by the Springfield Art Association.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Designer

S.T. Wallace, a citizen of Springfield.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003


Previous version of the flag

[Springfield, Illinois flag] 3:5 image(s) by permission of David B. Martucci
image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright.

The early version of the flag does not have the city's name across the bottom, and the circle of stars is centered vertically. Moreover, the red star points downward rather than upward. It is not known when the original design was altered, or by whom, but the original design was still in use in 1953. The flag was first exhibited on 8 November 1917.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

From the Beloit Daily News:
City flies five flag versions
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) You're a grand old flag - all five of you. Springfield city officials are scratching their heads over multiple variations of the city flag that a resident discovered. There are three different versions alone in the same city block on display in the city council chambers, flying outside the municipal buildings, and waving above the main fire station next door. "It's almost a comedy of errors," said Dr. John Navins, a physician who found the differences while researching the flag's history earlier this year. Brian McFadden, chief of staff to Mayor Karen Hasara, said city officials likely would research the city code and try to ensure that there's a uniform flag design. "We want to display the proper flag, but at this point we don't really know what is the proper flag," McFadden said.
        The design was chosen in a 1916 contest. The winning design, chosen from 38 entries, called for an "Illinois blue" flag with a circle of 20 white stars toward the staff end of the flag. The 20 white stars symbolized the first 20 states admitted to the union. In the center was another white star, representing Illinois, the 21st state, with a red star for Springfield in the middle of it.

located by Dov Gutterman, 1 January 2003


Seal

[City Seal] located by Paul Bassinson, 10 July 2019

Image obtained from https://www.springfield.il.us/
Paul Bassinson, 10 July 2019