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Ann Arbor, Michigan (U.S.)

Washtenaw County

Last modified: 2022-10-08 by rick wyatt
Keywords: ann arbor | michigan | washtenaw county |
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[Flag of Ann Arbor, Michigan] image by Steve Knowlton, 2 June 1999

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Description of the flag

I have seen Ann Arbor's city flag flying around town and can attest that it is 3:5. The three yellow stripes are of equal size and have a space equal to one stripe's width between them, and that they together fill out the middle 1/3 of the flag. Ann Arbor's nickname is the "Tree City", hence the seal.
Steve Knowlton, 10 June 1999

The city seal of Ann Arbor was for many years roses growing on an arch; the thinking was that the "Arbor" referred to a rose arbor. In the 1970's, I believe, some papers of the city's founders were discovered that indicated that they had been thinking of a *tree* arbor when they originally named "Ann's Arbor" (both of the founders had wives named "Ann", hence the first part), so they changed it accordingly.
Kim Scarborough, 11 June 2004

Previous flag

[Previous Flag of Ann Arbor, Michigan] image located by Jan Mertens, 16 October 2008

Recently offered on eBay by "edwinart" was the predecessor of Ann Arbor's flag, where Kim Scarborough describes the former city seal, an arbour of roses.
Source of offer: "no. 200259731909 (end 9 Oct 2008). Additional information: "Roughly 3 x 5 ft / Made by NYL-GLO ~ Annin & Co. Printed emblem."

The photo shows a white flag with a much larger seal; the three horizontal stripes are present but also a wide brown vertical one, positioned behind the seal: a "Nordic (Scandinavian) cross" configuration. The seal, within a brown rim, shows indeed a yellow arbour (gate-like trellis) upon which a green plant grows. Behind the arbour appear brown buildings: a church (spire) on the left, an official building of some sort (dome) in the centre and a factory (two chimneys) on the right.

On the inside of the rim we read `THE CITY OF ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN' separated by two small lozenges from the words `FOUNDED 1824 INCORPORATED 1851' in a much smaller font: all letters are brown. Between the cityscape and the lower words are two olive branches, green with red fruits, tied by a red ribbon.

Jan Mertens, 16 October 2008

I believe that the buildings depicted on the seal/flag are connected with the University of Michigan. I think that the larger building is the old Administration Building, one of the original university buildings. I believe that it still exists, but is a National Historic Landmark or the Michigan equivalent. As there is very little in Ann Arbor which is not connected with the University of Michigan, I would be fairly certain that the buildings depicted are early university structures.
Ron Lahav, 17 October 2008

I attended the Univ. of Michigan in the early 1980s, and I don't recognize any of the structures. That could be that they just pre-date my time there. The domed building might be the old University Hall pictured here:
Terence Martin, 17 October 2008


[Municipal seal] image located by Paul Bassinson, 9 September 2019

Paul Bassinson, 9 September 2019