Cook County #FLAG2021 Advisory Panel Launches Design Contest to Find a New Flag for a New Century


CHICAGO  This week, Cook County launched #FLAG2021, a contest for County high school students to redesign the Cook County flag in time for the County’s 190th anniversary.

A Flag Design Advisory Panel was established by the Cook County Board in a December 2019 resolution sponsored by Commissioner Scott Britton (14th District), who serves as Panel Chair.

“The contest to create a new flag is an exciting opportunity for high school students to engage with civics and the County’s history,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “As we celebrate the County’s 190th anniversary in 2021, I look forward to working with young people to leave a mark on our history.”

On the flag contest website, students are advised to consider the geography, mission and history, and people of Cook County. The new County Flag will be the banner for all 5.2 million residents, and students are advised to describe the meaning and symbolism in their designs.

The deadline for students to submit entries is April 15, 2020. The Advisory Panel will evaluate submissions and select 25 semi-finalists, who will meet with volunteer design professionals to further refine their designs. The Panel will select five finalists for the County Board to consider this fall. The winning flag will be then be raised above Daley Plaza in a January 2021 ceremony.

The winning flag design will become the official banner of Cook County and will be flown and displayed in all locations where the current flag is located. Replacement of current flags will occur by departments on an as-needed basis.

“This contest provides an opportunity for a dynamic new flag design,” said Britton. “I am confident we will find many designs worthy of representing Cook County into the 21st century.”

“We are asking the high school students of Cook County to design a flag for the 21st Century that connects our past and present together,” said Matthew DeLeon, Cook County Historian. “The unique role Cook County played in the growth and development of the region, the state and the nation is a story that should be told.”

Submissions are now open, and students may submit online at, via email to [email protected], or by mailing the paper entry form (found at the website above) or any physically constructed flag to 118 North Clark Street, Room 436, Chicago, IL 60602.