Every state across the US has its own flag to fly. Some state flags remain instantly recognizable, while others are looking to redesign. Illinois is one of those states well on its way to shaking up its visual identity. The state flag’s current design has been in effect since 1915. So why is Illinois looking to redesign its flag now? Here’s some insight into the reasons behind this change and what Illinoisans can expect in 2024.
An eagle’s flight to modernity
The current Illinois flag features an eagle perched on a rock with a shield beneath its feet, a design that harks back to the Great Seal of the United States. However, it appears this eagle might soon spread its wings toward a more contemporary design.
A bill passed last year by Governor J.B. Pritzker sought to establish the Illinois Flag Commission. Their task? To develop fresh designs for a new state flag. The motivation behind this move is to encourage civic engagement and reflect the evolving identity of the state.
Democracy in design
The Illinois state flag redesign process isn’t a closed-door affair. It’s a democratic exercise involving historians, designers, and, most importantly, the residents of Illinois. The General Assembly of Illinois is set to receive recommendations from the Illinois Flag Commission, with a completion deadline established for December 2024.
A historical perspective
This isn’t the first time Illinois has tinkered with its flag design. On July 1, 1970, the state adopted a flag designed by Sanford Hutchinson following a government-established committee’s recommendations. The original design was the brainchild of Ella Park Laurence, State Regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and it was adopted back in 1915. If Illinois adopts a new flag, it would be the state’s third in its 205-year history.
The future awaits
So, what does the future hold for the Illinois flag? Only time will tell. But one thing is certain—the redesign signifies Illinois’ readiness to evolve while honoring its past. It’s a bold move, an innovative approach to change, and, above all, a testament to the dynamic nature of cultural identity.