Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Yes, Fort Wayne has a flag!

by Carmen Doyle

One of the comments heard a lot is “I didn’t know Fort Wayne had a flag!” With the distinctive appearance of the flag, it’s surprising that many people have not noticed it.

The flag has a blue background, with three broad white lines that intersect in the middle to form a “Y”. In the middle of the “Y” is a red fort. 

On the left hand side of the flag is a red Indian head, representing the Miami Indians.

On the top right of the flag is a red fleur-de-lis, representing the French forts. 

On the bottom right is a lion, representing the English forts. 
We just got a new Fort Wayne flag for our building so we took the opportunity to shoot a closeup photo.
The flag came about because in 1916 Indiana celebrated its centennial. There were celebrations throughout the area. As part of Fort Wayne’s festivities, the Journal-Gazette held a competition to design a flag that would represent the city. 

The winner was Guy Drewett.  At a centennial pageant, he was among the citizens who were honored for their contribution to Fort Wayne’s celebrations.

His first design was not the same flag seen today. The original design had the white lines, representing the three rivers, but instead of the red icons seen today, the original flag had a star on either side to represent Fort Wayne’s status as Indiana’s second city.

Guy went around Fort Wayne selling the flag to citizens anticipating the centennial, using the slogan that he was the “Guy That Drew It”.

In 1934, the flag was redesigned to better tell Fort Wayne’s history. That flag was officially adopted by the City Council, and is the design we use now.

Guy Drewett was so proud of his accomplishment that his tombstone is engraved “Designed the flag of Fort Wayne-1916”
Now that you know that Fort Wayne does have a flag- see how often you observe it around town. Take a photo and post it on Facebook and tag it with The History Center.

We fly the Fort Wayne flag along with the American flag and state flag at the History Center.

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