Carl Vogel

Carl Vogel
Forest Preserve District Director of Communications

Design Mentor: Number 54 Flag, Strides for Cook County

Carl Vogel is the Director of Communications for the Forest Preserves of Cook County, which protects nearly 70,000 acres of natural public land throughout Cook County and is one of the oldest and largest forest preserve districts in the United States. Prior to joining the Forest Preserves he has been the editor of nonprofit magazines in New York and Chicago, an adjunct professor at New York University, and a communications consultant for universities, think tanks, community groups, and government agencies, with a focus on urban policy and social change.

Strides for Cook County Flag


My flag is a representation of power within a community and the things that represent how a community should be. Cook County should be powerful with the encouragement, trust and growth of the people in the community. The color orange represents encouragement, we should encourage each other to be better people and strive for better things. The color blue represents trust, the inhabitants in cook county should be able to trust the justice department and the justice department should work it’s hardest to obtain the trust of the citizens of the county. Lastly, green represents growth. I put green last because having encouragement and trust will help cook county grow and become better. The triangle symbol brings it all together and represents the power that cook county should hold by achieving the things the colors represent.

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

Charlye Hunt

Charlye Hunt

Alan B. Shepard High School

Student Design: Strides of Cook County

1. How does the flag you designed represent who you are and what you care about? 
The flag I designed shows the layout of Cook County and how everyone is connected somehow through it. I designed it this way because I think unity between people is very important in working together and building a better cook county.

2. Why did you decide to join the Flag 2021 competition?
I decided to join this competition because it’s doing something for Cook County. It helps everyone feel more united if they can have a flag they can recognize as their own.

3. What did you learn about Cook County that surprised you?  
I learned many things about Cook County. When I first went into this project I knew basically nothing about cook county itself. After doing this project I learned how cook county works together and things cook county prides itself on.

4. Tell us a short story about your collaboration with your flag mentor/partner(s). (3-5 sentences)
When I did the collaboration I felt welcomed to share my own ideas and thoughts on how to combine my flag with someone else’s. Our meetings were quick and to the point which I liked. My mentor was very kind and so was my partner.

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