Cook County Officials Exchange Flags with Municipal Leaders
President Preckwinkle today joined Commissioner Scott Britton and other County, Township, and Municipal elected officials for a Municipal Flag Exchange Ceremony. The event celebrated the new County flag, the “I Will Banner,” in a ceremonial flag swap to update the County archive of local flags and provide the new County flag to be proudly displayed across the County.
“It's been a little over a year since we raised Cook County’s new "I Will" flag for the first time. It is a symbol that embodies the essence of our County, reflecting our waterways, natural beauty, innovation, and core belief in social justice. And today, we gather here to share the spirit of that flag with our dedicated municipal partners. This act of exchange represents our shared commitment to the people we serve and the places we protect,” said President Preckwinkle.
“This ceremony honors our County’s unity with the beautiful display of the punctilios of vexillology decorum that is the “I Will” flag exchange,” Commissioner Britton said. “This new flag belongs to every one of the 5.2 million residents of Cook County, and tells each of our stories. I look forward to seeing the “I Will” flag fly in front of municipal buildings throughout the County as a gesture of unity, a beacon of equity, and a bastion of hope. ”
The program included an honor guard procession, Lift Every Voice and Sing performed by Marquita Dixon, national anthem performance by Bethany Stannard, and a poetry reading from Joel Q. Following the speaking program, municipal officials exchanged their respective municipal and township flags for the new Cook County "I Will" flag to display in a prominent location in their communities.
The “I Will Banner” symbolizes the importance of the County’s waterways (blue), the beauty of its natural lands (green), the innovation and commerce of its residents (white), and its core belief in social justice (red). The central “Y” shape highlights the regional rivers joining at Wolf Point while harkening back to the original Municipal Device of Chicago. The stars are seven-pointed to represent each County region, the city of Chicago, and the Forest Preserves, which join together to symbolize residents’ unity and a common mission.
The flag was redesigned in a multi-year high school student competition, from which 297 submissions were received from students at 40 different high schools. The selected flag was designed by Glenbrook South H.S. High School student Andrew Duffy and mentored by former Cook County Bureau of Administration Graphic Designer Martin Burciaga.
Cook County announced the new flag on Flag Day 2022 and hoisted it above Daily Plaza for the first time in September 2022.
In attendance were Mayors, Supervisors, or representatives from 20 of Cook County’s municipalities and townships:
Alsip – John Ryan, Mayor
Arlington Heights - Robin LaBedz, Trustee
Broadview – Sobeida Sierra, Executive Assistant to the Mayor
Chicago – John Roberson, Chief Operating Officer
Cicero – Blanca Vargas, Trustee
Des Plaines - Andrew Goczkowski, Mayor
Dixmoor – Fitzgerald Roberts, President
Franklin Park – April Arellano, Clerk
Glenwood - Brian Mitchell, Village Administrator
Harvey - Chris Clark, Mayor
LaGrange – Paul Saladino, Clerk
Markham – Derrick Champion, Village Administrator
Northbrook – Kathryn Ciesla, President
Northfield Township – Shiva Mohsenzadeh, Supervisor
Orland Park – Joel Van Essen, Director of Public Works
Palos Park – Nicole Milovich-Walters, Mayor
Richton Park - Rick Reinbold, Mayor
River Forest - Luke Masella, Deputy Clerk
Rolling Meadows – Lara Sanoica, Mayor
Westchester – Greg Hribal, Mayor