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New Orleans, Louisiana (U.S.)

Orleans Parish

Last modified: 2018-08-09 by rick wyatt
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[Flag of New Orleans] 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 ordinance of adoption describes the New Orleans flag:

The official flag of the city shall be according to the design …which consists of a white field five-sevenths wide, with a brilliant crimson stripe one-seventh wide at the top, and a brilliant blue stripe one-seventh wide at the bottom …There shall be three Fleurs-de-lis in the center of the white field, the height of each of which shall be one fourth of the height of the white field, and to locate their position there must be drawn an inverted equilateral triangle with an altitude of one-third the height of the white field, each angle marking the center of the Fleur-de-lis …
The three fleurs-de-lis are in gold.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Symbolism

Mr. W. J. Waguespack of the Flag Committee, upon presentation of the flag to the city, explained the symbolism:
The white field is the symbol of purity of government from which alone justice and equality can flow. The crimson or red stripe … is fraternity… one blood or union, which is also the offspring of justice and equality … The blue stripe … is liberty, the offspring of purity of government … The white field of purity is five times as large as the stripe of liberty and fraternity, because it is the mother of both. The combination of these three fundamental principles of good government constitutes ‘Democracy’. The three fleurs-de-lis historically grouped in triangular form represent the birth and infancy of New Orleans under the banner of the three fleurs-de-lis, but these have since been snatched from the blue field of the banner of ‘Autocracy’ and now rest upon the field of purity … and symbolize ‘Democracy’ triumphant over ‘Autocracy’ … the red, white and blue are the colors of the United States, but are also the colors of France; and as New Orleans is the daughter of both, they are so grouped as to constitute a new and separate entity, which is now the flag of New Orleans.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Selection

A Citizens’ Flag Committee of the New Orleans Bi-Centennial Celebration, headed by W. J. Waguespack and W. O. Hart, selected a design from the 379 submitted and forwarded it to Mayor Martin Behrman and the city council.
5 February 1918 (official).
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Designer

Bernard Barry and Gus Couret, “sons and citizens of New Orleans”.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

More about the Flag

The New Orleans flag was first raised on Gallier Hall, at that time city hall, on 9 February 1918. Section 1- 9 of the city ordinances provides that The official flag of the city shall be displayed on the City Hall whenever the Council is in session and on all municipal buildings throughout the city on all legal holidays and whenever otherwise directed by the Mayor or the Council.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

The red and blue stripes are Old Glory shades (R+ and B+++), and the fleurs de lis are golden yellow. The white stripe is officially prescribed as 5/7ths, although images of actual flags often show it otherwise (anything from about 3/4ters to 2/3rds).
António Martins-Tuválkin, 26 March 2008


Variant Flag

[Flag of New Orleans] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 26 March 2008

A nice image of the flags of Louisiana and New Orleans is at travel.webshots.com/photo/2028907460093378786yfeLlq shows detail differences: Red and blue in this flag are medium, not dark, and the fleurs de lis, unusually shaped, are actually light orange, not really golden yellow. The white stripe is narrower than the official prescribed 5/7ths, about 2/3rds.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 26 March 2008


New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

[Flag of New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival] image located by Bill Garrison, 17 April 2007
Source: Ebay

A yellow flag with a design of four jazz players in black silhouette above the festival name.
[Editor]


The "appliqués" of New Orleans

An old tradition at New Orleans is the "appliqués", banners hung by the inhabitants in their gardens or the houses on many occasions, always with the fleur de lis, the heraldic symbol of the city from the French monarchy, and with a colour code:
- For Welcome : black and gold
- For Mardi Gras (Carnival) : purple, green and yellow
- For Christmas : red and green
- For Valentine's Day : red
- For Halloween : orange and black
- For the Gay Pride : rainbow
etc.

Pierre-Yves Guilain, 21 April 2013