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Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (U.S.)

Dauphin County

Last modified: 2018-07-27 by rick wyatt
Keywords: harrisburg | pennsylvania | dauphin county | all-america city award |
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[Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Flag] 3:4 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

The ordinance of adoption describes Harrisburg's flag:

A field of dark blue rectangular in form, of which the length shall be 1 1/3 times its width, with a narrow gold or yellow border, in the middle of the field and slightly above the center a large white keystone, having thereon, outlined in blue, the dome of the State Capitol rising from clouds; above the dome at the dexter or right side a roundel or disk of gold or yellow, and at the left a fleur-de-lis of gold or yellow; below the dome, three crescents, two above one, of gold or yellow, and beneath the keystone the word Harrisburg in gold or yellow slightly curving upward.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Symbolism

The white keystone refers to the state's nickname, "The Keystone State". The new capitol dome represents Harrisburg as the state's capital. The crescents are from the arms of John Harris, for whom the city is named. The fleur-de-lis symbolizes the County of Dauphin, of which Harrisburg is the county seat, named for the eldest son of the king of France. The roundels (disks) are prominent on the arms of William Penn, for whom the state is named.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Selection

Chosen by the common council, with the select council concurring.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Designer

Unknown.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

More about the Flag

At www.mike-snook.com/photos/tradelist/PA-HarrisburgPDTrader.jpg, a police badge uses the same emblem, also on blue, with the keystone bordered in red.
Here are some photos and texts about the Harrisburg Capitol dome:
www.warnerphotography.net/images/Capitol.jpg
www.eventective.com/USA/Pennsylvania/Harrisburg/
www.temple.edu/harrisburg/img/news/temple-harrisburg-capitol.jpg
www.flickr.com/photos/gailontheweb/5495565/in/set-138486/
www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/genInfo.php?locIndex=14100
António Martins-Tuválkin, 8 March 2008

A much older picture of the city flag is shown here (Myers Mfg Co. post card, 1908): www.ioffer.com/i/HARRISBURG-CITY-PA-FLAG-POSTCARD-FRM-MYERS-MFG-CO-1908-13126739. The main difference is the very thin border; yellow is rendered as gold; and clouds appear behind the crescents as well. It strikes me that the fleur-de-lis may refer to the short period when Harrisburg was called Louisburg.
Jan Mertens, 3 May 2009


Variant "All America City" Flag

[Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Flag] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 8 March 2008

The website at http://harrisburg.pahighways.com shows a different flag at harrisburg.pahighways.com/images/harrisburgflag.jpg: It is rather a 4:7 medium blue flag with the seal centered on it in large size (~7/8ths of the flag height). This seal is very dark blue with a wide yellow border (and an outer dark blue rim) and shows a white keystone with a thin red edge; on it a dark blue line art representation of the local capitol dome above three yellow crescents pointing up (set 2+1) and between a sun and a fleur de lis, both also yellow, near the top of the keystone. On the yellow border, "City of Harrisburg" on the upper half and "All-America city" on the lower half, separated by mid-dots, all set in bold serif capitals.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 8 March 2008

In this photo, we see what appears to be the present flag of Harrisburg between the U.S., Pennsylvania, and Dauphin County flags (at left, visually) and "All America City" plus two unknowns (at right, visually). Narrow yellow border, letters seemingly gold (adding abbreviation "PA." after a comma) , and a the keystone narrowly bordered red. Keystone (contents unchanged but for the evaporated cloud) with narrow red border on a dark blue disk with yellow rim, outlined in dark blue, bearing title "CITY OF HARRISBURG / ALL-AMERICA CITY" (dark blue serif letters and two separating dots). The entire emblem or seal is placed on a medium blue field.

This All-America City is a title granted by the National Civic League: Harrisburg, PA received it in 1990. Briefly from ncl.org/programs.html:
"The All-America City Award is America's oldest and most prestigious community recognition award. Since 1949 the All-America City Award has encouraged and recognized civic excellence, honoring communities of all sizes (cities, towns, counties, neighborhoods and regions) in which citizens, government, businesses and voluntary organizations work together to address critical local issues."
Jan Mertens, 5 May 2009


Variant with border

[Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Flag] image located by Valentin Poposki, 1 August 2009

Another variant of the flag of Harrisburg is shown in a large photo with visible details: www.yorkblog.com/explorer/flag.jpg. It has a yellow border and red border to the emblem.
Valentin Poposki, 1 August 2009