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Fremont, California (U.S)

Alameda County

Last modified: 2018-08-07 by rick wyatt
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[U.S. 26 Fremont Flag-blue] 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

Fremont’s flag is a variation on the design of the United States flag. It has 13 stripes of red and white and in the center of the blue canton is a white eagle in flight toward the hoist, looking back toward the fly, and clutching nine white arrows and a peace pipe in its talons. Above and below the eagle are undulating rows of 13 white stars each.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Symbolism

This is a popular version of the flag of Capt. John C. Frémont, who led U.S. Army exploratory expeditions into the far West in the 1840s. At the time his flag was made (1842), there were 26 states in the Union, hence the 26 stars. Frémont is said to have used the peace pipe in the eagle’s talons in the belief that Native Americans seeing the flag would understand it better than another traditional European symbol such as an olive branch.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Selection

The "Fremont Flag" was logical for the city named for Frémont to use in the absence of an official flag. The city of Fremont itself is very young: it came into being in 1956 when five cities on the southeastern edge of the San Francisco Bay consolidated into one.
Flag adopted: 1970s (unofficial).
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Designer

Jessie Benton Frémont, the explorer’s wife and devoted publicist, designed and sewed the original version as a substitute for the national flag, as her husband prepared to explore in Mexican territory not (yet) belonging to the United States. She combined design elements from the United States national flag and U.S. Army regimental flags. The original is now in the Southwest Museum of the American Indian in Los Angeles, California. Its dimensions are 47 by 83 inches. The actual flag has a white canton, with the eagle painted in blue and white stars outlined in blue. The peace pipe has a red bowl. The reverse side has a different design.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

More about the Flag

Although the city has no official flag, long-time flag retailer James J. Ferrigan III writes:

In the 1970s they [Fremont city officials] did fly a flag which they both identified and purchased as the ‘Fremont City Flag’, and as such was supplied by the Paramount Flag Co. and by the Weeks, Howe, Emerson Co., both of San Francisco. This was the so-called blue canton Fremont flag.
Another flag, considered by some to be the city flag, hangs in the mayor’s office. It places the city seal on a solid background. Historically, the “blue canton Frémont Flag” is simply an error. Jessie Frémont’s flag with a white canton was “corrected” by some 20th century flag book authors, who assumed it was a mistake and depicted the flag with a blue canton. That misrepresentation has even led some to assume that there were actually two Frémont flags.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

No Flag?

Until recently, I lived for almost 30 years in the neighboring communities to the north of Fremont and a year in Fremont itself. Unless it was adopted in the last month, the City of Fremont does not have an official flag. I have asked through the library and city clerk's office and there is no city flag.
Michael P. Smuda, 13 September 2002


Alternate dubious flag

[flag of City of Fremont, California] image by Chris Kretowicz

This flag, blue over white bicolor, with a city logo made of five rotated blue F's, overwritten by "THE CITY OF FREMONT CALIFORNIA" in a sans-serif font, the word Fremont being larger and red, the other words being white, was reported to us, without a source.
Chris Kretowicz, 13 September 2002