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Topeka, Kansas (U.S.)

Shawnee County

Last modified: 2018-08-02 by rick wyatt
Keywords: topeka | kansas | shawnee county |
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[Flag of Topeka, Kansas] 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.



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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 Topeka is divided vertically, with a shield and ribbon on a white field on the hoist half, and gold stripe over a dark green stripe on the fly half. The shield has a gold field; its images, lettering, and its dividing lines and chevron are all in dark green. In a compartment across its top is GOLDEN CITY in outlined letters, centered in two lines. The rest of the field is divided into three portions by a chevron (upside-down “V”), the top point of which is in the center of the shield, and a line extending upwards to the top compartment. In the hoist third are a beehive and a locomotive drive wheel. In the fly third is a grass hut of the Kaw Tribe, with an arrow and stalk of corn on either side of the hut. In the lower third is the dome of the Kansas state capitol. The chevron has a zigzag band design in gold, forming ten unequal divisions separating nine five-pointed gold stars. Below the shield is a heraldic ribbon in gold, on which TOPEKA 1854 KANSAS appears in green outlined letters.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Symbolism

The gold on the flag reflects the city’s nickname, “The Golden City”, given by the early settlers because of the beauty of the city’s sunlit rolling hills and autumn elms. The dark green represents the fertility of the Kaw Valley and corn, an important agricultural product of the region. The beehive and locomotive drive wheel symbolize industry and the major part the railroads contributed to the region’s development. The Kaw hut recalls the original settlers of the land, and the arrow and corn stalk suggest that the Kaw were both hunters and farmers. The capitol dome shows that Topeka is the capital of Kansas. The zigzag design on the chevron symbolizes the first bridge over the Kansas River, a structure that contributed to the city’s growth. The nine stars stand for the nine founders of the city.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Selection

The flag was a United States bicentennial project of Boy Scout Troop 43.
Flag adopted: 1977 (official status uncertain).
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Designer

Dana Villeme, a 13-year old Eagle Scout, with the advice of some local architects. The city coat of arms that appears on the flag was designed in 1960 by Ed Bruske, an artist for the city-county planning agency..
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

More about the Flag

Beginning in 1975, it took Boy Scout Troop 43 two years of hard work to embroider the first flag on poplin. This flag was 4:7 in proportion; later versions are 2:3. In 1996, after Villeme died in an automobile accident, the city dedicated a memorial plaque in his honor on the flagpole at city hall where the city flag is flown.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003


Detail of Coat of Arms

[Arms of Topeka, Kansas] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 1 June 2008

At en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:TopekaCityCrest.png is a large image of the coat of arms. On the flag, as depicted in the NAVA image, landmarks and letters are shown in green.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 1 June 2008