A historical summary of the official flag of the Chicago Police Department introduced in 1977.


The Official Flag of the Chicago Police Department
Left to Right
Patrolman Charles E. Springer, Superintendent of Police James M. Rochford, and Patrolman Jack Pecoraro.
In early 1976, the idea of a Police flag was submitted to the Research and Development Division (R&D) by Patrolman Charles E. Springer of the 4th District, a 15 year veteran with the Chicago Police Department. Approved by Superintendent James M. Rochford, the suggestion was assigned to three R&D analysts to develop: Sergeant Frank Kohnen, Sergeant Howard Knight and Patrolman Jack Pecoraro. Kohnen, Knight and Pecoraro made a number of sketches as to what they felt the flag should contain and these were turned over to Otis Rathel, Commanding Officer of the Graphic Arts Section. Rathel made a final artist rendering and which was submitted to the Superintendent, who approved its design. The design was then given to a flag manufacturer to be produced. In April of 1977, the flag was unveiled during ceremony and it became the first official flag of the Chicago Police Department.


The symbolic meaning of the Flag is as follows:

The Gold Fringe

  • Pays tribute to command and supervisory personnel who lead and direct Department members towards achieving the Department’s goal of providing the best and most effective law enforcement for citizens.
  • The pattern of Blue and White squares represents the dedication of Chicago Police Officers to provide protection and service to Chicago citizens.

The Checkerboard Design

  • Signifies the many and varied duties and responsibilities of Chicago Police Officers.
  • The pattern of Blue and White squares represents the dedication of Chicago Police Officers to provide protection and service to Chicago citizens.

The Blue Stripes and White Background

  • Expresses the Department’s commitment to serve every community.

The Red Stars:

  • The First Red Star represents Fort Dearborn (added by City Council in 1939). The Points of the First Red Star Signify: Transportation, Labor, Commerce, Finance, Populousness, and Salubrity [sic].
  • The Second Red Star represents the Chicago Fire of October 8-10, 1871. The Points of the Second Red Star Signify: Religion, Education, Esthetics, Justice, Beneficence, and Civic Pride.
  • The Third Red Star represents the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. The Points of the Third Red Star Signify History of the Area: France 1693, Great Britain 1763, Virginia 1778, Northwest Territory 1798, Indian Territory 1802, and Illinois Statehood 1818.
  • The Fourth Red Star represents the Century of Progress Exposition of 1933 (added by City Council in 1933) The Points of the Fourth Red Star Signify: World’s Third Largest City, City’s Latin Motto, “I will” Motto, Great Central Market, Wonder City, and Convention City.

The Silver Star

  • Centered over the geographical symbols of the city.
  • The star represents members of the Chicago Police Department.
  • The city seal superimposed on the star signifies the that the Department derives its authority from the city.

The Streamer – “Courage, Pride, Dedication”

  • COURAGE, for individual valor and selflessness.
  • PRIDE, in the Department and its members.
  • DEDICATION, to accomplish the stated goals of the Department.