Monday, January 30, 2006

The Municipal Flag of Springfield

In 1916, Vachel Lindsay met with members of the Springfield Art Association and together they organized a contest for the design of the official municipal flag for Springfield. The SAA flag committee included former Illinois governor Richard Yates, reknowned Springfield architect George Helmle as well as my great-grandmother, Lyna Chase Souther.

Lindsay put up $100.00 as prize money for the winning design, shown here.

The flag's design became an integral component of New Springfield's geography in Lindsay's The Golden Book of Springfield, as this exerpt attests:

"...the path of white around the red star of Springfield is the map of our five-pointed system of double walls and within them a star-plan system of avenues."

Lindsay describes the vast scale of the outer walls with gates at each of the five star-points located at Mason City, Warrenburg, Pana, Palmyra and Virginia, Illinois. The walls, according to Lindsay's narrative, were

"...built so long ago by Ralph Adams Cram!"
The flag still flies proudly over Springfield. Lindsay said of the flag,

"Those that can unite under the flag of Springfield with joy can someday unite the world over, under the flag of mankind."


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