Strides for Cook County Flag

About Strides for Cook County Flag

The elements of the flag represent Cook County itself, with the blue of Lake Michigan to the east and the green of the Forest Preserves on the land. The half-compass shows the five suburban regions (North, Northwest, West, Southwest, South) and the white triangle in the center of the compass is the City of Chicago, the county seat capital.

The colors are also a representation of power within a community and how a community should be. The orange represents encouragement: We should encourage each other to be better people and strive for better things. The blue represents trust: The residents of Cook County should be able to trust the justice system, and the system should work its hardest to obtain the trust of the citizens of the county. Green represents growth: With encouragement and trust, Cook County will grow and become better.

Carl Vogel

Director of Communications
Forest Preserve District of Cook County

Parallels Flag

About the Parallels Flag

The flag is representing the City of Chicago and the five suburban regions (North, Northwest, West, Southwest, South). I chose an individual color to represent each region and the white star to represent the city itself. The monochromatic theme shows that all regions at the core are the same, but still slightly different in their own way. This flag is effective because it represents how many groups of people from various regions are in many ways, alike, as we all reside in Cook County. Lastly, I chose to focus on the county’s people because the county is known for being diverse and home to many people; I hoped to showcase the regions with stripes and then use the star to show how all six regions come together as one.

Rolling Stars Flag

About the Rolling Stars Flag

Team W’s flag features a large blue wave shape to represent Lake Michigan. The green is to represent the importance of the Forest Preserves in the county. There are 31 stars total on the flag for the City of Chicago, Evanston, and 29 other townships within the county. The yellow rays are to represent the 8 total counties in Illinois, nodding to Cook County as both a unique entity and part of a collective.  

Cook County Sunrise Flag

About the Cook County Sunrise Flag

My flag design is inspired by the classic City of Chicago flag, given the significant role that the city plays in Cook County. However, instead of Chicago blue, I’ve opted for a teal color. The teal represents all the nature found in Cook County – a literal color combination of the lake, rivers, forest preserves and sky. Its dominant position at the top of the design represents how the County has assigned greater priority to its care over the years and the steps towards becoming more green as a region.

The white triangle field represents the land of Cook County. The white border surrounding both fields denotes the administrative nature that the county serves.

The red star is clearly a nod to the City and what Cook County is inextricably known for, but also symbolizes the sun as it rises above the environment and its people, signifying a new day and positivity. The six points represent the six geographic regions of Cook County: Chicago, North, Northwest, West, South and Southwest.

Finally, the diagonal nature of the design denotes the energy and dynamism of the county and its influence on the region. 

Dave Straus

Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Chicago American Manufacturing LLC

Connection Flag

About the Connection Flag

The blue represents the waters of the county—Lake Michigan, the Chicago River, etc. The 6 stars and the 6 points on the stars stand for the 6 regions of the county. The yellow represents the sun shining equally over the 6 regions of the county. The orange stripes over the blue stand for the bridges over the waters in the county.

The 4 blue stripes and the 3 orange stripes together stand for Cook County being a diverse area that has people from all of the 7 continents (including, in the case of Antarctica, the many scientists in the county who have worked and lived there temporarily for their research.

Idealistically, blue stands for peace and calm. Orange stands for connection. The yellow on the stands for hope and happiness, as well as hard work and education.

Faiz Razi

Design Faculty
Northwestern University

Harmony II Flag

About the Harmony II Flag

The 6-pointed star represents the 6 regions of Cook County. The star’s Chicago-flag-styling serves as a nod to the City of Chicago as the seat and centerpiece of the county.

A large, yellow star represents the bright sun that shines over everything. The green stripes represent our nature and forest preserves. The yellow stripes invoke the interconnected highway system and the heights of our skyscrapers.

The blue spaces in-between are our waterways and lakes. When these colors come together, they also represent the diversity of the county, as sort of a fabric interwoven, uniting the different people of the county together.

Faiz Razi

Design Faculty
Northwestern University

Dynamic Tricolor Flag

The Dynamic Tricolor Flag

This design for the new flag is a simple and striking solution, using 3 fields of color with a single star at its center. The blue field on the “east” represents our great Lake Michigan with its signature shoreline symbolized along the edge. The angled white field represents the Chicago and urban areas of the county, a dynamic region that sits between the blue lake and the green spaces to the west. The green field represents the more suburban regions with their many parks and vast forest preserves. The centered red star, with its many angles coming together from different directions, represents not only the cultural diversity of the people of the county but also the fact that Cook County is the hub of transportation and commerce for the region, while giving a nod to the City of Chicago stars. (The five suburban regions could also be represented by the blue bands on the right).

This flag powerfully symbolizes the unique aspects of Cook County in a simple, strong, and sharp design that will proudly fly overhead.

Cook County United Flag

The Cook County United Flag

The blue color symbolizes Lake Michigan and the rivers that flow through the County. The green color and tree represent the importance of the environment and forest preserves in the County. The tree also symbolizes life and diversity, while also showcasing unity within the County. The six stars represent each of the six geographical regions of the County including Chicago and the five suburban areas. The star also symbolizes the importance of the justice system in Cook County. 

The New Century Flag

The New Century Flag

January 15th, 2021 marks the 190th anniversary of the existence of Cook County. As we enter the final decade of the second century of the County, we look forward into the future, into a new century. The New Century Flag represents some of the most notable features of the County — from the rivers that run through it to the city of Chicago at its center — as well as some of its historical accomplishments, all with a cohesive, modern, and distinctive design.

The New Century Flag has two primary components: the Wheel, and the Stripes. The Wheel, in the leftmost third of the Flag, represents three separate aspects of the County:
● O’Hare and Midway, Cook County’s bustling airports
● the Ferris Wheel, invented in Cook County
● the geographic layout of Cook County

The Stripes, on the other hand, represent the four primary bodies of water in Cook County: Lake Michigan, the Chicago River, the Des Plaines River, and the Little Calumet River. In this labeled simulation, the waving New Century Flag is labeled according to its geographical representation of the County.

The Flag is made of three colors: red, white, and blue. This combination of colors evokes both patriotism and diversity — after all, the three colors make up not only the American flag, but the plurality of country flags around the world. The exact shade of red, Wheel Red, comes directly from the iconic Chicago flag, whereas the blue, Lake Blue, is nearly identical to that of the Cook County seal. Wheel Red and Lake Blue are just two of the colors used in this proposed Cook County design system; the rest can be seen below.

The New Century Flag is precisely gridded to ensure near-perfect dimensions and margins. Set in a 15:9 horizontal aspect ratio, the Flag is proportioned on the basis of a single measurement: x. When the Flag is
printed at a size of 15 inches by 9 inches, x is equal to about 0.43 inches. The ratio of blue stripes to the white margins that separate them is 2:1, with the former being a measurement of 4x and the latter 2x. The Wheel is drawn with x as the width of the stroke. The entire Flag consists solely of perfect circles and lines rotated by either 45 or 90 degrees.

Portions of the schematic of the Flag can be separated from the whole to form art-like structures, resembling the work of renowned Cook County architect Frank Lloyd Wright. These patterns have many potential applications, from usage in posters and advertisements, perhaps to frame content and images, to simple but unique Virtual Backgrounds.

The New Century Flag may be condensed into a small icon when it is necessary, known as the Minilogo. The Minilogo has a variety of applications, from the subtle branding of a slideshow as the schematic image above exemplifies, to profile pictures on social media as depicted below. The colors of the Minilogo adapt to the background to ensure contrast, and can come in full-color, two-color, and three-color.

This Flag represents a new step forward.
It embodies both history and future.
Its design is simultaneously familiar and unique.

Tim Mellman

Tim Mellman (he/him or they/them)
Student Designer

The Cone Flower of Cook County Flag

About the Cone Flower of Cook County Flag

My color choices for the flag are navy blue and white. The navy blue represents the steady
persistence required to make Cook County a better place to live, while the white represents
optimism and faith in a prosperous future for all Cook County citizens.


The symbol on the flag’s right is a representation of the flower of the Echinacea, the official
flower of Cook County. I chose the flower, not only because it is the county’s flower, but due to
its structure. The petals of the flower represent the 30 Cook County townships that surround
the City of Chicago, while the central ovary represents the city itself. The petals and ovary of
the flower are the same size, since both Chicago and Cook County’s townships are equal in
importance in the county. The navy blue field that surrounds the flower represents Lake
Michigan, denoting the Lake’s role as a major economic factor in the County’s growth.

On the left, the six navy blue stripes represent Chicago and the five regions of Cook County:
North, Northwest, South, Southwest and West. The five white stripes represent the five essential
services offered by Cook County, comprising Healthcare, Transportation, a strong Justice
System, Environmental Preservation and Commerce.

Taken in combination, the stripes form a ladder. This communicates that, with the help of the
services of Cook County, all our citizens may climb to shared success and prosperity.

Our Star Flag

About the Our Star Flag

This flag combines all of the important land and iconic features of Cook County. The yellow stripe represents the prairie land, our foundation. The dark blue represents Lake Michigan while the light blue represents the rivers of Cook County. The dark blue is also used to represent the previous county flag and seal, since it is a similar dark blue color. The five stripes in total represent the five regions of Cook County while the white star represents the sixth, Chicago.

Scott Rench

Associate Creative Director
Keurig Dr Pepper Inc

New Union Flag

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.

Standing Together on the Shore of Excellence and Equity Flag

About the Standing Together on the Shore of Excellence and Equity 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.

Jim Kelly

Executive Creative Director
closerlook, inc.

Number 54 Flag

About the Number 54 Flag

The yellow represents agriculture in Cook County, the color of the wheat we grow. The blue lines represent Lake Michigan and the rivers in the county. The red represents health care, which is part of Cook County’s history: The original Cook County hospital was meant to be a teaching hospital, and it also founded the countries´ first medical internship. The green in the star represents the Forest Preserves, and the four points are for the three branches of government and the people who live here. Without the people, there is no government to function. And the four white points are for the City of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs to the North, West, and South. The name is also about our history. Cook County was the 54th county in Illinois.

I Will Flag

About the I Will Flag

The blue stripes illustrate the importance of water to Cook County. The top stripe represents the North Shore Canal, the Skokie River/ Lagoons, the Des Plaines River, and the North Branch of the Chicago River while the bottom stripe reflects the Grand Calumet River, the Illinois River, Salt Creek, and the South Branch of the Chicago River. The central stripe indicates the main stem of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. The Y shape mimics the merging of these bodies of water at Wolf Point. Not only are these bodies of water beautiful, treasured resources, they are an essential piece of this county’s history. By facilitating trade between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River, our waterways made Cook County the national center of commerce it is today. Additionally, this imagery is used on the popular Municipal Device, more commonly known as the Y symbol, and is seen in logos and art around Cook County. The Y symbol can even be found on the original county seal, which is engraved outside the entrance of the Cook County Building at 118 N. Clark St. in Chicago.

The green stripes symbolize nature and the Forest Preserves. The placement of the green stripes depict a river bank like seen at the Des Plaines River Trail and North Branch Trail. Originating in 1914 with the establishment of the Forest Preserve District, the Forest Preserves serve as an integral connection to the natural world for the people of Cook County and a vital nature sanctuary, all while being surrounded by a bustling metropolis. The forest, nature walks, river trails, prairies, and even the Botanical Gardens and Brookfield Zoo are all protected by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. This kind of commitment to nature is not seen in any other urban area. Our deep connection to the natural environment is something unique to Cook County.

The white background of the flag represents innovation and commerce. The color white depicts a blank canvas, a freshness of what is yet to come and the human eye views the color white as brilliant. Cook County is a national economic leader marked by major industries and significant advancements in technology, healthcare, architecture, and countless other pivotal fields. Cook County’s major role in railroad, interstate, water, and air transportation is essential to the economic development of local communities, Illinois, and the entire United States.

The red stars have several important meanings. The stars represent six foundational moments that represent who we are through the founding of Cook County, our commitment to health care through the founding of Cook County Hospitals Stroger and Provident, defeating disparities through the founding of Cook County Department of Public Health, preserving national lands through the founding of the Forest Preserve, family and juvenile justice reform through the founding of the first in the nation Arthur J Audy Home for justice-system involved youth, and local partnerships by harkening back to the old flag’s circle of stars. The seven points of the star represent different parts of Cook County: North, Northwest, West, Southwest, South, the City of Chicago, and the Forest Preserve District. The stars bring all the points together, symbolizing our unity and a common mission. The color holds particular significance. Red has historically been the color of social change, something Cook County is no stranger to. Red is strong and bold, as are those who continue to fight for equality. Some key moments in Cook County’s history include creating the first juvenile court in the world, welcoming over 200,000 Jewish immigrants after WWII, hosting the first Special Olympics, the founding of the first recognized gay rights organization in America, equal housing marches organized by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., recent protests for Black Lives Matter, and even electing historic County officials like Commissioner John Jones and Judge Mary Bartelme. The people of Cook County continue to be united in the fight for equality.        

The flag gets its name from a historic statue by artist Charles Holloway, who was the first-place winner in an 1891 contest that challenged artists to come up with “a figure typical of Chicago’s spirit” to represent the city – sort of like an Uncle Sam. Holloway’s entry of a goddess figure suited for battle came out on top. Reflecting her defiant attitude, she wore a breastplate that read “I Will.” The “I Will” name embraces the fighting spirit and go-getter attitude of the people of Cook County.

Cardinal’s Path Flag

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.

Lisa Lee

Executive Director
National Public Housing Museum

Lakeview Flag

About the Lakeview Flag

This flag represents three big ideas that identify Cook County for all that it is worth. The first big idea represented in this flag design is water, specifically Lake Michigan. This is shown in the design through the three different shades of blue and wavy pattern that artistically represents water. On the other side of the water is the land in which our county sits on represented through the green section of the design. The second big idea represented in my flag design is the population of Cook County and how big it is. Cook County is the second-most populous county in our country and the most populated county in Illinois with over 5.2 million residents. This is represented through the big circle in the middle of the design. The people are what our county is centered around, so the big circle in the middle perfectly represents that. The last big idea represented in this design builds off of the circle and is the six regions of Cook County. All of the residents of the county live in these six regions, so in order to represent that, the circle is split into six sections. The yellow color was chosen to stick with the colors on our county seal and incorporate the yellow from that into my flag design. Every aspect of this design has a meaning behind it and together represent what Cook County is.

The Six Star Flag

About the Six Star Flag

Representing the numerous, marvelous qualities of Cook County, The Six Star Flag seeks to honor said respected qualities through representation of county landmarks and cultures.

  • Blue and green majorities: Represents Lake Michigan and the Cook County Forest Preserve.
  • Five White Stars: Represents the 5 suburban regions while also being arranged on the flag in the N, NW, W, SW, & S directions in which they appear in Cook County.
  • Curved, White Line: The curved, white line represents the pathways and transportation through Cook County: The Forest Preserve, Chicago Riverwalk, innovative historical highways, & railways.
  • Yellow Circle with Red Star: The red star, identical to that of the Chicago Flag, represents Chicago while also contrasting the yellow circle which represents the yellow found within the center of the county flower, the Echinacea. Together, they additionally represent the Great Chicago Fire through the red and yellow contrast to symbolize the fire at the center of the rebuilding of Chicago and Cook County as a whole.

County Stars

About the County Stars Flag

The name of the flag is heavily inspired by the new meanings behind the new star designs that
are the main focus of the redesign. The stars are an important part of Cook County as they
represent a lot of the major community aspects that Cook County contains, such as the minor
stars on the flag representing the six regions of Cook County and the major star representing
the 800 government units; both of these symbols are the main building foundations that make
Cook County along with the stars on the actual flag being the main element of design.

Eight Point Star – The eight point star symbolizes the 800 government units that reside inside Cook County’s boundaries. These are of course a main part of the communities in Cook County as with any
community and was a deserving spot for the main centerpiece of the flag that represents Cook
County. The government units bring balance to Cook County, so it would be fitting to have that
be in the middle, bringing balance to the other aspects of design on the flag and their symbols.\


Six Point Stars – The six stars represent the six regions of Cook County. The six points on the
stars are for police, firefighters, justice system, health care, forest preserve, and commerce.
These six points are important factors to help keep Cook County safe and running.


Outer and Inner Circle – Both circles are a homage to the original flag with a revisioned design
focused towards simplicity. This will make the flag more recognizable even when further away
and give it better notability.


Outer Lines – The outer lines are a reference to the Chicago flag, which is an important part of Cook County and Cook County’s image.


Inner Line – The band that runs through the middle of the flag is used as a unifying aspect, as it unifies the separate designs, the circles and other lines, and brings it all together; such as unifying all the
separate aspects of Cook County into the place that it is and its unique history and current
progression.


Combination of the Lines – Both the combination of the outer lines and the inner lines creates a subtle road-like design. The design nods towards two very important roads to Cook County, the US route 6 and State Line Road. These roads are both important to the development of Cook County during the start of
development.


White Background – The white offers a clean and clutter-free design to the flag that helps with smaller prints of the flag and further distance recognition.

Darker and Lighter Green – Both greens represent the Forest Preserves of Cook County, bringing in the darker and lighter shades of green that are used to represent the forest preserves and nature in general when it comes to color language in the flag design.


Gold – The gold band in the flag design is used as a unifying symbol in the overall design, the specific
color not only brings the design together nicely but gives the design meanings of happiness and optimism. It lends itself to a hopeful future that is wanted with any community when representing itself and its community goals.


Baby Blue – The blue in the outer line is also a reference to the Chicago flag, which uses blue to represent
Lake Michigan and the north branch of the Chicago River, along with the south branch of the river and the great canal.

DPC (Daniel Pope Cook) Flag / Cook’s Flag

About the DPC (Daniel Pope Cook) Flag / Cook’s Flag

The stars represent the three primary mission objectives that Cook County government performs on behalf of the residents of Cook County. The stars’ design also invokes a sense of familiarity with the stars in the Chicago city flag but are different in that the County’s stars have 7 points vs. 6 points on the City’s stars.

  • The first star represents Health Care. Cook County plays a major role in providing health care and health resources through its county-wide network of hospitals and clinics.
  • The second star reflects Law & Justice, which is supported through the County’s circuit court system, and the Offices of Public Defender, State’s Attorney, and Sheriff.
  • The third star represents the County’s commitment to the Environment and Open Spaces. This is accomplished through its support and maintenance of the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

The 7 points on all 3 stars together represent Illinois’ admission as the 21st state of the Union. Daniel Pope Cook, whom Cook County is named after, was a leader, congressman, and the driving force for Illinois’s admission into the union. The colors blue and gold reflect the color gold in the current Cook County seal.

Blue also represents Lake Michigan, where the shoreline of Chicago and Cook County reside. The three blue fields also represent the three geographic regions of Cook County which primarily are, northwest, north, and south. The blue of the three regions of Cook County is also the same color blue on the U.S. flag, which represents perseverance and justice.

In the Y symbol, the wavy lines represent the north and south branches of the Chicago River, which converge on the heavy, straight line which symbolizes Cook County’s roads and highway system and its continued role to support and maintain the countywide network of roads and highways.

And lastly, the color white represents the respect and acceptance of all county-wide neighborhoods and neighbors towards one another.

Green, Gold and Great Flag

About the Green, Gold and Great Flag

Although this name stems from two of the flag’s three main colors, it is more than a simple description of the flag. Green describes both the forest preserves and parks as well as the county’s ongoing commitment to be a model of sustainability and eco-friendliness. Gold describes the county itself as well as its status as a prosperous center for economic growth and development. The word greatness pays homage to Lake Michigan as one of the Great Lakes as well as the county’s influence within Illinois, the United States, and the world.

Nickname: “The Life Line”

This nickname comes from the slanted shoreline where the county, parks, and lake meet.

When I see the forest preserves, I see green. I see a sprawling field of grass surrounded by a thick wall of trees. I see birds swooping down from branch to branch and squirrels scurrying about. I see a picnic blanket being spread under the shade, kites soaring in the sky, old friends catching up on a bench, and a runner passing by. I see laughter, joy, wonder, excitement, and serenity. I think about the sanctuary the park and preserves provide for all kinds of life. I think about the birds huddling in tree knots to escape the elements, the crisp air that fills my lungs, and the constant beauty of the parks through the seasons. That’s what I hope you see in green.

When I see the water, I see blue. I think about the lake, both the mystery of its depth and the beauty of its surface. It protects marine life and conceals lost vessels while glimmering in the sun. I think about the river system, both its power and serenity, stretching from the lake to the Big Muddy. I see currents crashing into the hull of ships while calming waves wash up against the riverwalk. I think about how the water flows through our city, running through our pipes and filling our faucets and how all this beauty, power, mystery, and serenity sustains our county. That’s what I hope you see in blue.

When I see the county, I see gold. I think about sitting on the L. As I look out the window, I can see the dragons dance. The next stop brings frantic students flipping through their textbooks. The doors open once again and a couple struggling to carry their shopping bags strolls on. The train stops and the scents of garlic and oregano pasta and pizza smothered in marinara sauce waft in. Next walks on a man bickering on his phone trying to close a million-dollar deal. The train keeps rolling. I peer out the window to see the brightly colored murals painted on walls. Over the sound of the tracks, I hear the soulful music of a saxophone being played on a street corner. Not long after, I begin to smell the savory saffron, cumin, and coriander of biryani cooking in a nearby restaurant. As I look up, I see the towering buildings that seem to soar into the sky. That’s what I hope you see in gold.

The flag features 5 horizontal stripes, one for each of the county’s regions. These stripes alternate between green, which symbolizes the county’s collection of forest preserves and parks, and gold, which symbolizes the county’s status as an economic and cultural center as well as the importance of justice and civic duty. The stripes meet a blue, symbolic of Lake Michigan, on a slant which is indicative of the shoreline where the lake meets the county. At the flag’s center is an emblem — a white ring with a six-pointed star inside. This emblem represents the city of Chicago as the county’s seat and economic and cultural epicenter. The star in the emblem and the white color are references to the Chicago flag, and like those iconic stars, this star’s six points are also meaningful. Here, the points of the star represent the six crucial facets of the county: Healthcare, Environment, Transportation, Justice, Commerce and People.

The Key to Cook County Flag

About The Key of Cook County Flag

The Name of this flag is “The Key To Cook County”. There are several components that make the county strong and unique. The right side of the flag is a horizontal, signifying Cook County being bordered by Lake Michigan. The 8-point compass corresponds to all the directions of Cook County including the north, northwest, west, southwest, and south suburban area. The star symbolizes the empowering energy of the residents. The circle band around the star represents the unity of the people. I have chosen to use the same blue as the Chicago flag to create a suite of flags in the sky. The deep green directional and horizontal lines represent the large forest preserves that make the county exceptional. 

Harmony Flag

About The Harmony Flag

My flag is named “Harmony” because it is a symbol of peace and unity. The top of the flag is blue to represent the dedicated Cook County police force, our clear blue skies, and Lake Michigan.

The bottom half of the flag is colored green to represent Cook County’s forest preserves. The white line in the middle represents the 13 rivers of Cook County and doubles as a tribute to our cold winters filled with snow.

The semi-circles in the inner middle are the initials of Daniel Cook, the founder of cook county, (Cook, Daniel: C,D). The semi-circles come together to suggest the shape of a “C” for “Cook County”. The Y formed by the white lines creates the silhouette of the Chicago rivers meeting.

In the middle, lies a 9-pointed star, to represent the 9 regions of the Cook County Forest Preserves. The star is colored orange-red and sampled from the lettering on the current flag.

Alex Tomy

Alex Tomy (he/him/his)
Student Designer

Denny Liu

Senior Designer
The Office of Experience

>