Gabe Classon

Gabe Classon

William Fremd High School

Student Design: The Cardinal’s Path Flag

1.  How does the flag you designed represent who you are and what you care about? 
Of Cook County’s many virtues, I am perhaps most proud of our incredible history of and dedication to progress, which the design evokes with a leading central stripe that suggests upward motion. The prominent multi-faceted charge also has significance in representing the many parts and peoples that make the County whole, which I take to heart as a person with a multicultural background. The design—like the County, each of its residents, and myself—has also taken influences from Chicago, the state of Illinois, and the United States more broadly; it’s no coincidence that it incorporates our County seat’s star, our state’s bird, and our nation’s colors.

2.  Why did you decide to join the Flag 2021 competition?
I’ve been interested in vexillology and local governance for a long time. When I saw an announcement for the Flag 2021 competition in Palatine High School’s Cutlass, I knew that I had to shoot my shot.

 3.  What did you learn about Cook County that surprised you?
The incredible story of Daniel Pope Cook, our County’s namesake, who was influential in the statehood and anti-slavery movements in Illinois.

 4. Tell us a short story about your collaboration with your flag mentor/partner(s).
Cyrill and I came into this project with different ideas of where we wanted to go with it. Over the course of several weeks, we worked together to come to an understanding of what we each —with our different backgrounds and perspectives—felt was most representative of Cook County and how we could incorporate those ideas into a cohesive, beautiful, and meaningful symbol. Lisa was instrumental in facilitating those conversations and guiding us toward our goal. In the end, I think we created something great together and couldn’t be prouder of our work.