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5 Principles of Flag Design

There are five basic principles of flag design according to the North American Vexillological (Vex-il-lol-logical. That extra 'lol' makes it sound weird) Association. Vexillology is the study of flags.

#1: Keep it simple

The flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory.

Before I moved to Chicago, in 2005, I didn't even know cities had their own flags. "Most larger cities have flags." That's Ted K., flag expert, totally awesome guy. "I'm the editor of a scholarly journal on flags called 'Raven: A Journal of Vexillology.'" And that first city flag I discovered in Chicago is a beaut: a white field, two light blue horizontal stripes, and four six-pointed red stars across the middle.

Figure 1. Flag of Chicago, Illinois (Source: Wikipedia). Blue stipes embedded with photo of Chicago River (Source: Wikipedia). Stars embedded with illustrations of Fort Dearborn (Source: Wikipedia), the Great Chicago Fire (Source: Wikipedia), World's Columbian Exposition (Source: Wikipedia), Century of Progress Exposition (Source: Wikipedia).

#2: Use meaningful symbolism

In the Chicago flag, the blue stripes represent the water, the lake, and the rivers. The red stars represent significant events in Chicago's history.