by Eric DeGrechie
COOK COUNTY, IL — Saying that coming up with the design was not easy, Andrew Duffy is proud to see the flag he created for Cook County now waving above Daley Plaza in Chicago. A ceremony officially unveiling the Glenbrook South student’s “I Will” banner was held Saturday, according to a news release from the Cook County Board of Commissioners.
“Creating a flag to represent the over five million residents of Cook County and their unique communities was not a simple task,” Duffy said. “I went through countless different symbols and colors to find the right design for the ‘I Will’ flag. I am incredibly honored to have been chosen as the winner and hope the people of Cook County enjoy seeing their new flag.”
Earlier this year, Duffy’s flag beat out six other finalists and nearly 300 submissions for the honor. Duffy, who was mentored by Cook County Bureau of Administration Graphic Designer Martin Burciaga, designed a flag that “shows through color, shape, and symbolism the importance of the County’s waterways, the beauty of its natural lands, the innovation and commerce of its residents, and its core belief in social justice.”
Calling the event “historic,” the Cook County Board of Commissioners said the raising of the new flag will coincide with the county’s upcoming 200th anniversary year.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to have led this historic redesign of the new flag for the nation’s second largest county,” said Cook County Commissioner and Flag Advisory Panel Co-Chair Scott Britton. “The process empowered students from every corner of the County to creatively visualize the very best of what we represent. The new ‘I Will’ flag will wave for the first time for the social justice, innovation, natural resources, and history that the County represents.”
The search for the emblem began in December 2019, according to the news release. On Flag Day 2022, the Cook County Board of Commissioners met in the Legislation and Intergovernmental Relations Committee to vote for “I Will” as the new flag for Cook County.