Flag of Philadelphia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The city flag of Philadelphia is a blue and yellow triband, featuring the Seal of Philadelphia.

City of Philadelphia
DesignA vertical triband with blue (left and right) and yellow (middle), with the Seal of Philadelphia (minus the text) in the center
Designed byDr. Henry C. McCook
UseCivil ensign
DesignA vertical tricolor of UN blue (left and right) and yellow (middle)
The flag of America and the flag of Philadelphia at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


The flag of Philadelphia was officially adopted by city ordinance on March 27, 1895[1] and is the municipal flag of the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The flag is a yellow-on-blue bicolor vertical triband defaced with the seal of the city; the Philadelphia City Code defines the flag as "divided vertically in 3 equal parts, of which the first and third shall be azure blue and the middle pale golden yellow" with the city seal on the center of the yellow stripe; flags displayed by entities other than the municipal government often omit the seal. The dimensions of the flag are "10 feet long and 6 feet wide, or similar proportions". Official but seldom seen variations include a Merchant Flag, Pennant, and Streamer.[2] The blue and yellow colors commemorate the original Swedish colonization of Philadelphia. One flag manufacturer who supplies flags to the city government stated that the shade of blue used is "UN Blue" (the same shade used in the United Nations flag).[3]

The flag in the UN blue variant.

Coat of arms[edit]

The current version of the coat of arms was designed mainly by Colonel Frank Marx and adopted by City Council on February 14, 1874. According to the City Code, the city seal is "ARMS -- On a blue field, a fess golden between a plough above and a ship in full sail below; both proper. CREST -- A right arm, nude, embowed, couped at shoulder, holding a pair of scales; all proper. SUPPORTERS -- Two females, standing full face, the one on the left side of the shield habited white and purple, crowned with an olive wreath; in her right hand a scroll, charged with an anchor; all proper; the one on the right side habited white and blue; in her left hand a cornucopia, proper. MOTTO -- PHILADELPHIA MANETO."[4]

Four guiding principles of the City are found on the flag: peace, hope, abundance, and justice. The figure on the left with the olive wreath and scroll with anchor signifies peace and hope respectively. The figure on the right with cornucopia symbolizes abundance or prosperity. Above the shield appears a bent arm, holding the scales of justice and mercy.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shilstut, Elaine. "The Unlikely Designer of Philadelphia's Flag".
  2. ^ "Philadelphia City Code §21-103".
  3. ^ Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (U.S.) at Flags of the World
  4. ^ "Philadelphia City Code §21-101".
  5. ^ "Partners for Civic Pride—Who We Are". Retrieved 2023-03-10.