Flag of Milwaukee
The official flag of Milwaukee was adopted in 1955. It displays symbols of Milwaukee on a medium blue background. In the center, a gear, representing industry, bears symbols of Milwaukee's history: an Indian head representing Native American origins, and Milwaukee's Civil War flag. Below this is Milwaukee City Hall, representing government, which is flanked by a church, a factory, and the County Stadium. The golden barley stalk on the left represents Milwaukee's brewing history, and the red ship with water symbolizes Milwaukee's status as a port city.
In the 1950s, Milwaukee leaders discovered it was one of only four cities with a population over 500,000 without a flag, and so the city held a contest for flag designs. Former alderman Fred Steffan combined elements of some of the better entries to create the flag.
In 2001, the Milwaukee Arts Board of the Milwaukee Common Council held a contest to attract designs for a new flag. Over 105 designs were submitted, but none met with the approval of the board, and the old design was kept. In a 2004 poll conducted by the North American Vexillological Association, the flag of Milwaukee was rated the fourth worst of all major cities in the United States. The symbols on the flag were common tropes of industry, manufacturing, and agriculture during the mid-20th century.
- Held, Tom (December 19, 2001). "Banner Bore: Designs for new city flag fail to capture spirit of Milwaukee, arts board decides". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
- "Washington, D.C. Tops American City Flags Survey", North American Vexillological Association press release, 2 October 2004