About the New Union Flag
Green and blue stripes: The green and blue background stripes represent the land and water areas of Cook County, which together make up the total area of the County. Cook County has a total area of 1,635 square miles of which 945 square miles or about 58% percent is land and 690 square miles or about 42% is water. The three green stripes out of the five total stripes (60%) and two blue stripes (40%) out of the five total stripes represent the approximate amount of land and water areas of the County.
The green color signifies the County’s strong commitment to the preservation of the environment, its increasing sustainability efforts, and its 70,000 acres of forest preserve lands. The blue color represents the County’s Lake Michigan shoreline and the many rivers and canals that run throughout the County. Additionally, the blue color signifies the importance of these bodies of water to the County’s recreation and economic history as well as Lake Michigan’s contribution to Cook County’s high-quality drinking water.
Red circle: The circle shape signifies the unity of the diverse 5.2 million residents of Cook County coming together as a whole. The red color represents the County’s strong legacy and commitment to providing world-class health care to anyone in need regardless of their ability to pay. Given Cook County Government’s celebration of 190 years during a global pandemic, the red color recognizes Cook County Health’s rapid and equitable response to the COVID-19 crisis. The red color is also the same red color as on the flag of Chicago.
Gold star: The six-pointed star is an easily recognizable symbol of the City of Chicago. The six-pointed star is in the center of the flag because the City of Chicago is the County seat. The six points on the star represent the six main geographic regions of Cook County — the City of Chicago and the five suburban regions (North, Northwest, West, Southwest, and South). The five green and blue stripes that surround the Chicago star represent the five suburban regions that surround the City of Chicago. The six-pointed star further signifies that Cook County is the sixth-largest county in Illinois by land area. The gold color represents the County’s overall pursuit of excellence and the constant drive for engagement, improvement, and innovation throughout the County. The gold color also signifies that fairness and equity are a mission of the County, including the County’s justice system.