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Cedar Rapids, Iowa (U.S.)

Linn County

Last modified: 2018-07-31 by rick wyatt
Keywords: cedar rapids | iowa | linn county |
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[Flag of Cedar Rapids, Iowa] 3:5 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.



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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 the flag of Cedar Rapids is white. Across approximately the central third of the field horizontally, extending seven-eighths of the flag’s length, is a symbolic city skyline in blue. Beginning at the hoist side is a historic mill, separated from the church with a steeple that follows it by three corn stalks. In the center is a representation of the city’s Memorial Coliseum. On the fly side is a factory with two smokestacks, then three more stalks of corn, and finally the girders of an unfinished rectangular building. Above the mill is a cloud; another is behind the upper part of the Coliseum; and smoke wafts from the smokestacks toward the fly. The scene is enclosed on the sides and above by three curved lines with the first indentation at the church steeple and the second at the factory smokestacks. The scene rests on a blue heraldic ribbon on which the city’s motto appears in white (with quotation marks): “PROUD of YESTERDAY [below the mill and church] PROGRESSIVE TODAY [below the Coliseum] PROMISING TOMORROW” [below the factory and unfinished building]. Above the scene, running across the field nearly the same length as the scene is CEDAR RAPIDS; below, centered below the central segment of the scene is IOWA, all in large red letters.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Symbolism

In 1963 the city administration explained the flag’s symbolism:
Red, white, and blue are the three basic colors because they are the basic colors of both the American flag and the flag of Iowa. The ribbon on which the slogan of Cedar Rapids appears represents the Cedar River which has been and probably always will be an important part of Cedar Rapids. The structure on the left [hoist] represents the first mill built in Cedar Rapids along the river in 1842. The role of agriculture is represented by the stalks of corn on both the left [hoist] and right [fly] of the design. The church pictured represents the many churches for which Cedar Rapids is famous and proud. The Memorial Coliseum is symbolic of the progressive city which Cedar Rapids is today. This building houses both our city government and the Chamber of Commerce. The factory illustrates the role of industry in Cedar Rapids today and in the future. The steel girders of an unfinished building represent the promising future of our great city.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Selection

A contest was held among the four high schools of the city.
Flag adopted: 8 October 1962 (official status uncertain).
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Designer

Fred Easker, Jr.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

More about the Flag

After the flag was adopted, 114 were made. Two were kept for the mayor’s office and council chambers; the remainder sold for $3.35 each.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003