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Houston, Texas (U.S.)

Harris County

Last modified: 2018-07-29 by rick wyatt
Keywords: houston | texas | harris county |
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[Flag of Houston, Texas] 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.
Proportions: 1:2 (official); 17:30 (usage)



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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

Houstonís flag has a field of medium blue with a large white five-pointed star taking up about the center third of the flag. On a field of 17 by 30 units, the two upper points of the star are equidistant from the flagís edges at 6 units each, and the distance between the two points from each other is therefore 18 units. In the center of the star is the circular city seal with a diameter of 6 units. The seal has a golden yellow, braided edge. Within it is a smaller, concentric golden yellow beaded circle. Between these two circles is a blue field on which CITY OF HOUSTON is inscribed, curved over the top half in golden yellow letters running clockwise. Curved below, and centered with a small cluster of three golden yellow leaves at either side, is TEXAS, in golden yellow letters running counter-clockwise. In the sealís center, on a white field, is a golden yellow locomotive of 1840s vintage, smoke rising from its funnel-shaped smoke stack, and steam escaping from its whistle as it heads toward the hoist. Centered above it is a golden yellow five-pointed star, and below, an old-fashioned field plow, headed toward the fly. The shadings on the golden yellow elements are in red.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Symbolism

Characteristic of many cities in the Lone Star State of Texas, Houstonís flag bears a single large star, as well as a single star on the seal. The seal was adopted 24 February 1840. The locomotive on the seal, modern in its day, anticipates by about a decade the first railroad (Houston and Brazos Rail Road Company) in Houston and in Texas. The plow is said to represent the cultivation of fields for the important cash crop of cotton, which the railroads shipped to buyers.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Selection

On 24 May 1915, the city council authorized Mayor Ben Campbell to appoint a six-person committee to select a flag from submitted suggestions. Besides the mayor, who served ex officio, the others on the committee were Major F. Charles Hume, Judge E. P. Hamblen, and Mesdames Charles Stewart, M. Looscan, and Gentry Waldo.
Flag adopted: 13 September 1915 (official).
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Designer

W. A. Wheeldon. (No honorific is supplied, so one assumes that it is ďMr.Ē Wheeldon; ladies of the day were always referred to by an honorific.)
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003


Earlier Version of the Flag

[Flag of Houston, Texas] 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.

At some point in the 1990s, several artistic alterations were made in the seal, apparently unofficially, and the blue of the field was lightened slightly. When the flag was first adopted, the seal was depicted according to the specifications of the ordinance of adoption with a navy blue ring around it. The sealís outer ring was white, and the lettering, with a small star on either side of TEXAS instead of the leaves that were on the original seal, was black. The inner edge of the white ring had a smaller, narrow red circle within it around the field of the seal in white. The locomotive, star, and plow were also black. The flagís field was navy blue.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003