Chicago flag

My uniform patch of the Chicago flag

Everyone recognizes the Chicago flag, but not all Chicagoans know what our beautiful Chicago flag represents. Once I was eating lunch with my friend Mike when some tourists from France saw the patch of the Chicago flag on our uniforms. They wanted to know what the symbols on the flag meant. I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know what the three white stripes represented back then. Mike explained all the symbols to the French tourists, much to their satisfaction. They were genuinely impressed that they had finally met a Chicagoan who actually knew what the Chicago flag represented. The French tourists left the restaurant and Mike and I continued eating lunch. When we asked for the check, the waitress told us that the French tourists had paid for our meal. Talk about the value of a little knowledge!

So, the three white stripes represent the three sides of Chicago: south side, north side, and west side. Notably, there is no east side of Chicago. That’s Lake Michigan! The two blue stripes represent the two bodies that help define Chicago: the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. However, I have also heard that the two blue stripes represent the two branches of the Chicago River. Don’t you just hate when there are two competing explanations? Each red star represents an important historical event of Chicago history: the 1812 Fort Dearborn Massacre, the 1871 Chicago Fire, the 1893 World’s Fair, and the 1933 World’s Fair.

In our era of politically correctness, the Fort Dearborn Massacre has been renamed The Battle of Fort Dearborn. It’s only a matter of time before this “encounter” gets softened even more. What’s next? The Fort Dearborn Cultural Exchange?

Now that you know the meaning of the Chicago flag, help share your knowledge of the city of Chicago and the Chicago flag to any tourist–whether from a foreign country or another state of the USA–who visits.

Súper Tazón XLII

On the road to Bears Camp.

Okay, as a true Chicagoan and Chicago Bears fan, I cannot contain myself anymore and I must have my say about the outcome of today’s Super Bowl. My sons asked me who I wanted to win the Super Bowl. The New England Patriots, I said without even hesitating. They were amazed because they want the New York Giants to win. But that’s understandable because they don’t know Chicago History. I’ll never forget the horrendous disaster that occurred on December 2, 1985–a disaster in Chicago History that ranks right up there with the 1812 Fort Dearborn Massacre, the 1871 Chicago Fire, and the 1992 Chicago Flood! Yes, I’m talking about the Chicago Bears loss to the Miami Dolphins in what would have been the perfect romp to Super Bowl XX. Yes, the Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl, but their record was slightly diminished. Their nearly perfect season was reduced to a mere 18-1 record by the Dolphins who held the record of 17-0 for the most wins in a season. Okay, so that’s why I want the New England Patriots to win tonight’s Super Bowl and go on to a perfect record of 19-0. Just so they can beat Miami’s perfect season of 1972. Only then will I feel vindicated over that Bears’ loss to Miami, oh, so long ago, even though the wounds are still fresh in my heart! Go, Patriots!