Cook County’s #FLAG2021 contest

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Elyssa Reed, A&E Editor

Cook County is the second largest county in the United States, right behind Los Angeles. It’s home to 5.2 million residents and in need of a new flag!

Cook County has created the trend #FLAG2021, in time for the County’s 190th anniversary. This contest was made for high school students, grades 9-12,  living in Cook County, to redesign the flag to represent the history and future of Cook County. 

“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,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said. 

This contest is meant to showcase the future of generations to come, all while retaining the historical foundation. Students are to create a flag that uniquely represents the past and present together. It’s suggested that students can describe the meaning and symbolism behind their designs. 

“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,” Matthew DeLeon, Cook County Historian, said. 

The deadline for submissions is April 15, 2020. The Flag Design Advisory Panel, sponsored by Commissioner Scott Britton, will be evaluating submissions and selecting 25 semi-finalists. Once they’re chosen, the semi-finalists will meet with volunteer design professionals to further enhance their designs. Eventually, The Panel will select five finalists for the County Board to evaluate this coming fall. The winner will have their flag raised in Daley Plaza in a January 2021 ceremony. Their flag will represent all of Cook County and its 5.2 million residents!

Submissions are now open. Students can submit online at, via email to [email protected], or by mailing the entry form or any physically crafted flag to 118 North Clark Street, Room 436, Chicago, IL 60602. 

If there are any further questions concerning the flag design and/or submission guidelines, more information can be found at

Good luck to all artists and their designs. May the best flag win!