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. 

Bill Gatewood

Bill Gatewood

1. What inspired you to become a mentor for the Flag 2021 competition?
I wanted to inspire young designers to apply their creativity to a real-world project.

2. Through this experience what did you learn from your student, and what did you hope to impart upon your student?
I learned that my students have what it takes to be successful designers. I hoped to impart on them the value of being open to input and to fully explore their ideas.
3. Tell us about a favorite memory you have working with your student(s).
My favorite memory is of my students taking the initiative and reworking their ideas on their own.

Angela Almanza

Angela Almanza


1. How does the flag you designed represent who you are and what you care about?
The flag I designed showcases who I am through its simplicity and meaning found within. It shows I care about being inclusive to all those in our county and what we are known for.

2.  Why did you decide to join the Flag 2021 competition?
I decided to join the Flag 2021 competition to present my abilities in design and find a new new flag for our county. I wanted to gain the knowledge of mentorship and design while also doing something good and beneficial.

3. What did you learn about Cook County that surprised you?
I learned Cook County values its environment and forest preserves while also putting the justice system above all.
4. Tell us a short story about your collaboration with your flag mentor/partner(s)
I enjoyed working with my flag partner and mentor and feel I gained a lot from this experience. My mentor, Bill Gatewood, would provide encouraging advice and commentary on the designs my partner and I would present to him. He always tried to make us think outside the box and just let ideas come to reality to see what would work and what would not. We strove to focus on the importances of what makes Cook County so diverse and manifested it into our designs.