The Cardinal’s Path Flag
The flag includes a symbol reminiscent of the Northern Cardinal in its upper left-hand corner. The Northern Cardinal is the Illinois State Bird, bearing a brilliant red coat that stands out even in the wintertime, reflecting the resilience of the County. The symbol’s five red feathers signify the five missions of Cook County: commerce, transportation, healthcare, environment, and justice. It also includes a six-pointed star, representing the union of six regions—North, Northwest, West, Southwest, South, and the City—into one County. The unobstructed blue sky in which the cardinal flies represents the limitless opportunity that has allowed the County’s residents to achieve in unenumerable ways. The white snowy path below reflects a guiding path of hope toward a brighter future. The red earth underlying it all is the County’s history, which informs the path and must never be forgotten.
The flag’s creation was a collaboration between two students of different backgrounds and municipalities incorporating the strengths of each of their individual designs, recognizing and respecting the unique qualities of what each had to offer, rather than building off of their own flags individually. The creation of the flag inspires a message of unity and that difference doesn’t stop people from making something amazing.