Flag of Madison, Wisconsin
The flag of Madison, Wisconsin, consists of a light blue background bisected from lower left to upper right by a white band, symbolizing Lake Mendota and Lake Monona and the isthmus between them. In the center of the flag is a black cross, which symbolizes the four lakes (Mendota, Monona, Wingra, and Waubesa), as well as the cross shape of the Wisconsin State Capitol. The original flag was designed by Rick and Dennis Stone, who were members of the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, with the help of their color guard instructor.
In the original design, adopted by the municipal government on April 12 1962 and used until July 2018, the shape overlaid on the cross was a Zia sun symbol, sacred to the Native American Zia Pueblo of New Mexico. While intended by the flag designers to represent an "Indian sun symbol", it is not used by the Native American groups in the Wisconsin area. Similar sun symbols appear on the state flag of New Mexico and the municipal flags of Wichita, Kansas and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In July of 2018, the City of Madison Common Council voted to modify the design of the flag, replacing the Zia sun symbol with a gold disc in response to community interest in removing cultural appropriation from the flag. The other elements remain the same. The removal of the Native American sun symbol was spearheaded by Alders Arvina Martin and Maurice Cheeks.
In a 2004 poll conducted by the North American Vexillological Association, the flag of Madison was rated 11th best of 150 major cities in the United States. In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the drum corps in 2007 and the 150th anniversary of the city of Madison, a representative of the city presented a flag to the corps.
- "Changes may be coming to Madison city flag" - WKOW
- "Alders approve ordinance to change flag of Madison" - WKOW
- "Washington, D.C. Tops American City Flags Survey" Archived April 17, 2013, at the Wayback Machine., North American Vexillological Association press release, 2 October 2004.