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Tacoma, Washington (U.S.)

Pierce County

Last modified: 2018-08-08 by rick wyatt
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[Flag of Tacoma, Washington] 2:3 image(s) by permission of David B. Martucci
image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright.



See also:


Current Flag

Text and image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright. Image(s) from American City Flags by permission of David B. Martucci.

Design

The field of Tacoma’s flag is a bright medium (royal) blue, with the city seal in blue and gold in the center. On a field of 2 by 3 units, the diameter of the seal is 1.25 units. A gold ring edged in blue encircles the seal. Arched over the top half in blue is SEAL OF THE CITY OF TACOMA, preceded and followed by a small blue-outlined star at the midpoints of the ring. Centered below is 1884, also in blue. Immediately preceding and following the two legends are small three-lobed objects, edged in blue. The center of the seal shows Mount Tacoma (now Mount Rainier) in blue, rising from a horizontal line about one-third of the way from the top of the seal. A gold sun with rays appears over its hoist shoulder. Centered below the mountain is a bridge with four arches over a waterway that widens to fill the bottom of the seal. An old-fashioned train with coal tender and two boxcars is crossing the bridge in the direction of the fly. On the promontories on either side of the bridge are factories with smokestacks in operation. Wharves run along the edge of the banks where the factories meet the water. Two small steamships are moored, one on either side of the waterway. The water and the sky behind the mountain are a lighter shade of blue; the rest is gold with blue shadings.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Symbolism

The seal captures a scene from the area at the city’s founding. Mount Rainier is a prominent landmark overlooking the city, drawn on the seal in 1884, the year of the city’s incorporation.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Selection

The flag was developed as part of the city’s Corporate Identity Program, which calls for the use of the city seal on all materials related to official, policy-making activities of the mayor and city council. It was felt that the seal, because of its historic significance, would reinforce the official status of the flag.
Flag adopted: 18 June 1991 (official).
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Designer

Not available.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003


Former Flags

1972 Flag

[Flag of Tacoma, Washington] image(s) by permission of David B. Martucci
image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright.

The second flag of Tacoma was adopted officially on 11 April 1972. This flag has a white field with proportions of 3:5 units. In the center is a circular emblem with an overall diameter of about 2.25 units consisting of a semicircular rainbow composed of 3 stripes, from the top red, orange, and yellow, curved over a circular blue emblem. Complementing the rainbow below is CITY OF TACOMA in blue in an Arial-type font, curved counterclockwise from one end of the rainbow to the other. There is a white space between the rainbow/city-name circle and the central symbol, enclosed in a narrow blue circle of about 1.25 units in diameter.

The symbol has a white field and is divided approximately in half. The upper portion shows a stylized Mount Rainier in blue; the lower portion, open water, representing Commencement Bay, detailed with four curved blue lines and a blue seagull, centered, flying toward the hoist. The flag was designed by John Wallerich and Larry Lawson of the city, and recommended to the city council by the Tacoma-Pierce County Civil Arts Commission. The rainbow symbolizes the bridge of communication; the seagull, the union of sky and abundant waters; and the circle, the timeless union of these qualities leading to a bright future.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003


1932 Flag

[Flag of Tacoma, Washington] image(s) by permission of David B. Martucci
image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright.

The first flag of Tacoma was designed by C.A. Darmer, a member of the Military and Naval Affairs Committee of the Tacoma Chamber of Commerce, which proposed the adoption of the flag to city council. The flag is a horizontal bicolor, crimson over gold, with the city seal in the center in black and white, with proportions of 2:3. It was officially adopted on 30 November 1931.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003