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Raleigh, North Carolina (U.S.)

Wake County

Last modified: 2018-07-26 by rick wyatt
Keywords: raleigh | north carolina | law | wake county |
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[Front of Flag of Raleigh, North Carolina]      
Front (obverse)
[Back of Flag of Raleigh, North Carolina]
Back (reverse)
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

Raleigh’s flag is one of the very few double-sided U.S. civic flags, no doubt because such flags are more costly to manufacture. Both sides have the same field, a vertical tribar of equal red, white, and red stripes. The front of the flag displays in its center the city seal, surrounded by a gold ring. On it CITY OF RALEIGH curves clockwise in the upper half and NORTH CAROLINA curves counterclockwise in the lower half, separated by dots, all in black. On the seal’s white field is a green oak tree, with ESTABLISHED 1792 curved counterclockwise below in small black letters. Surrounding the seal is an open wreath of green oak leaves and gold acorns, tied with a gold ribbon at its base.

The reverse of the flag displays in its center the arms of Sir Walter Raleigh with crest and motto, described in the 1960 ordinance:

A shield in red with five lozenges in silver from the dexter or left hand upper corner, touching at points, in a diagonal line to the sinister or right hand lower curve (pale-wise in bend). The crest shall be a stag upon a bandeau of six twists, straight, and having the same tinctures as shield and charges, the metal being the first twist on the dexter side. Beneath the shield shall be a red ribbon bearing the Motto of Sir Walter Raleigh, Amore et Virtute ….
John M Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Symbolism

Red and white are the colors of Sir Walter Raleigh, the 16th-century English nobleman for whom the city is named. The oak tree and wreath with acorns recall the city’s nickname, “City of the Oaks”. The deer on the crest of the arms is a play on the name Raleigh, derived from two Anglo-Saxon words meaning “meadow of the deer”.
Proportions: 14:23 (official); 2:3 (usage)
John M Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Selection

In 1899 the city wanted to present a city flag to the captain of the cruiser USS Raleigh (launched on 31 March 1892). The board of aldermen established a flag committee to develop a new flag, which was sewed by a Miss Kate Densen for $52.
Flag adopted: 31 May 1899 (official); modified 25 April 1960.
John M Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Designer

The flag committee.
John M Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

More about the Flag

The ordinance of 1960 modified the flag slightly from the original ordinance of 1899. The later version omits the date from the seal’s ring and places it with Established in small letters at the base of the tree. On the reverse, the full depiction of the arms was simplified in the later ordinance. The original flag of 1899, sewn by Miss Densen, is displayed in a glass case in the city’s government complex.
John M Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

The City of Raleigh's one of about 450 U.S. cities to have an official flag. Raleigh's flag was authorized in 1899 - as the result of a wish by the City fathers to present a standard to the captain of the Cruiser USS Raleigh. That was the Navy's second "Raleigh," a protected cruiser built by the Norfolk Navy Yard in Portsmouth, Virginia, and launched on March 31, 1892. The flag was originally made by Miss Kate Denson. A bookkeeping entry of November 1899, revealed the cost of making the first ensign to be $52.

The official flag committee of 1899 recommended that Sir Walter Raleigh's colors of red and white be used for perpendicular bars (red, white, red) on each side of the flag. Raleigh is known as "the City of the Oaks," and on one side of the flag, the committee recommended use of an oak tree surrounded by a wreath of oak leaves and acorns with the words, "City of Raleigh 1792." (A 1960 City Council resolution added the word "established" to the 1792 date.) This symbol is used as the official City Seal. It is embroidered in green and gold and centered on the white bar.

On the reverse side of the flag, also on the white bar, is centered a portion of Sir Walter Raleigh's coat of arms; a red shield crossed by connecting silver "diamonds" extending from upper left to lower right. Atop the shield is a twisted strand of red and silver on which stands an antlered deer. Below the shield, a red ribbon carries in silver, the words, "Amore et Virtute," which is Latin for "By Love and Valor."

The deer on Sir Walter's crest is significant in that the name Raleigh is derived from two Anglo-Saxon words meaning "meadow of the deer." Deer once thickly populated the forest that became Raleigh, as they did the Hayes Barton region of England, Sir Walter's birthplace.

What is considered to be the flag originally commissioned by the Raleigh Board of Alderman in 1899 now hangs, encased in glass, in the first floor lobby of the Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex.Source: City of Raleigh


Flag law

The City of Raleigh, North Carolina passed a law a few years ago prohibiting the flying of any flags other than those of the U.S., North Carolina, and the city. Apparently this was done to prevent one neo-Nazi from flying a Nazi flag at his house. Some religious groups and businesses objected because it also prevented them from flying their church or business-logo flags, and I believe that an adjustment was made, at least for the religious groups.
Bruce Tindall, 28 September 1995