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Baton Rouge, Louisiana (U.S.)

East Baton Rouge Parish

Last modified: 2018-08-02 by rick wyatt
Keywords: baton rouge | louisiana | east baton rouge parish |
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[Flag of Baton Rouge] 2:3 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.



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Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge comes from French Bâton Rouge (with a "^" over the "a"), meaning red stick. When exploring the Mississippi, the French navigator Iberville spotted bald cypresses which had been barked and coated with blood. The local natives used these "sticks" to sacrifice wild animals and mark borders between tribes. [At least this is the story as it is reported by Guide du Routard.]
Ivan Sache, 10 July 2002

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

The flag of Baton Rouge has a field of crimson. In about the center of the top half of the field, beginning at the hoist, Baton runs horizontally in white in a large italic script that extends five-eighths of the flag’s length. Rouge, in the same white script, appears below, beginning five-eighths of the flag’s length from the fly, in the upper quarter of the lower half of the field. Centered in the space below Baton and before Rouge at the fly is a heraldic shield, its top extending to slightly above the mid-point of the flag’s width, and its base extending nearly to the flag’s bottom edge. The shield is divided horizontally into two parts. Above, on a blue field, is a white fleur-de-lis on the hoist side and a white castle tower on the fly side. Below, occupying the rest of the shield, is an adaptation of the British Union Flag of 1606-1801, combining the white Cross of St. Andrew on blue with the red Cross of St. George on white.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Symbolism

The crimson field recalls the “Rouge” (French for red) of the city’s name. The red, white, and blue colors of the shield are also those of the United States. The emblems on the shield represent the three foreign powers whose flags have flown over Baton Rouge: the fleur-de-lis for France; the castillo (castle) for Spain, and a variant of the then-current Union Jack for the United Kingdom.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Selection

By the metro council on recommendation of a special committee established for the purpose.
13 December 1995 (official).
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Designer

A committee appointed by the city-parish administration.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

More about the Flag

The flag was adopted despite opposition by several prominent citizens who wanted to retain the earlier flag. In an effort to appease the opponents, the earlier flag was enclosed in a glass case for permanent display in council chambers.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

The City was founded in 1721 and incorporated in 1817, information no longer included on the new flag. Also omitted from the new flag is the Indian headdress and the cypress tree.
Eric Martin, 18 June 1997


1968 flag

[Flag of Baton Rouge] 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.

"Baton Rouge City Council approved the design of the "old" BR flag on 12/11/68. The background of the flag is green, symbolizing the growth, vitality and fertility of the land. The center emblem is a shield of white on which the colors red, blue and yellow are used. On the upper part of the shield is a crown in remembrance of the rule of Spain, France and England. The castille and lion of Spain are depicted as are fleurs de lis and a representation of the Red Stick for which Baton Rouge was named. A banner below the shield states: Founded 1721; Capital City of the Mississippi; Incorporated 1917

Source: Morning Advocate 12/12/68 p 14-E; image -- 6/21/69" - from: ref-raff.wikispaces.com/Baton+Rouge+-+City+Flag
Valentin Poposki, 12 June 2011

The first flag of Baton Rouge has a green field, described as a “lime” green, although the mayor at the time of the flag’s adoption said it was intended to be “emerald” green. In any case, the green color sufficiently annoyed some citizens that they complained to the city-parish administration, which gave rise to the movement to change the flag.

The green flag is elaborate. In the center of the field is an elongated rococo shield, bordered with white plumes. The field of the shield is also white. The upper portion of the shield depicts, dexter, a castillo, for Spain, and sinister, an upright red lion with a halo crown facing the hoist, for England. Centered above and between these figures in the crest position is a five-pointed yellow star above which are seven white feathers of a Native American headdress. The star recalls Baton Rouge’s role as capital of the Republic of West Florida for 74 days in 1810. Below these figures an arched white ribbon runs across the shield, separating the two portions, with BATON ROUGE in blue. Below this ribbon are three yellow fleurs-de-lis, one each on the hoist and fly sides and one below in the center for France. Between the upper pair of fleurs-de-lis is a truncated red cypress tree, symbolizing the baton rouge (red stick) of the city’s name. Below the shield, in an extended heraldic ribbon curved upward in three folds appear FOUNDED 1721 on the first part, CAPITAL CITY ON THE MISSISSIPPI on the second (center) part, and INCORPORATED 1817 on the third part, all in blue.

This flag was designed by a committee established by the mayor, W. W. Dumas, and was adopted officially on 11 December 1968.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003