Cook County to unveil new flag

Almost 300 designs were submitted from students at 40 high schools throughout the county, and an appointed flag advisory panel narrowed the selection to six flags in March. The new flag will be showcased Tuesday.

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The “Freedom” Flag was designed by student Jaime Fregoso and Martinez E-B, adjunct professor  in Harper College Art Department.

The “Freedom” Flag was designed by student Jaime Fregoso and Martinez E-B, adjunct professor in Harper College Art Department.

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Cook County will unveil its new flag on Tuesday after a nearly three years search, replacing its current flag.

The search for a new flag began in December 2019 as a global pandemic was starting across the globe, and the selection process has been delayed several times because of statewide shutdowns.

Almost 300 designs were submitted from students at 40 high schools throughout the county, and an appointed flag advisory panel narrowed the selection to six flags in March. That panel is made up of historians, Cook County Board commissioners, museum directors and other high-level county officials.

Students were paired with volunteer mentors that are professional designers. They helped refine and formalize the students’ designs.

The new flag will replace the current bland flag, which was designed in 1961 and is the county’s seal on a white background.

“As we approach Cook County’s bicentennial, we look forward to presenting a flag that will represent the County for the next 200 years,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said when the finalists were announced. “Our gratitude goes to the Cook County youth that put their minds and hearts into their designs. Their work will serve generations of Cook County residents to come.”

The new flag will highlight the beauty, diversity and values of the county.

The “Freedom” flag — created by student Jaime Joshua Fregoso, of Ray Graham Training Center High School in Chicago, with help from mentor Martinez E-B, an adjunct professor with Harper College’s Art Department — shows a large “C” wrapped around a yellow circle. A large white border is at the top of the flag with different shades of blue and green.

The white stands for transparency; blue for the lake and river; green for nature and parks; and yellow for the sun and peace. It aims to provide an uplifting and vibrant feeling.

Then there is the “Harmony” flag designed by student Alex Tomy of Maine East High School and designer Denny Liu. Its colors are blue, green, yellow and white with a red star in the middle.

The blue represents clear skies, Lake Michigan and police departments in the county. The green is representative of the county’s forest preserves. The semicircle in the inner is the middle initials of Daniel Cook — founder of Cook County.

The county’s new flag will be unveiled Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. on the county’s website.

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