Issue 24 

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December 2007                                                    Vol. XII,  No. 2, Issue 24




The new flag for Lafayette, Indiana, is a bright flag with bold design and colors. The flag’s unusual design makes it stand out among US city flags, and is something of a challenge to describe. The proportions of the flag are 2.5:4. A red scalene triangle is in the lower hoist corner, and its counterpart is in the upper fly corner. The base of the lower triangle measures about 1.75 units of 4. That measurement corresponds to the side of the upper triangle along the fly’s edge. The top of the upper triangle of about 1.5 unite matches the side of the lower triangle along the hoist’s edge. The field in between the two triangles is white, with a broad band of blue about 1.12 units in width undulating across the lower part of the field, the upper edge of the band about midway across the field, and the lower edge somewhat short of the bottom of the field, thus giving the effect of three unequal bands. Near the hoist, in what corresponds to the canton position, is a large gold five-pointed star that takes up about the upper half of the flag. The flag was designed by the Mayor’s Youth Council in 2006 at the behest of Mayor Tony Roswarski. The Youth Council is a select group of eleven high school students invited to learn about city government and to participate in various civic events.1 The students researched the city’s history as well as graphic design, including Ted Kaye’s Good Flag, Bad Flag.




Both the colors and the design of the flag are replete with symbolism. Red, white, blue, and gold are from the colors of the US and Indiana flags. Red symbolizes blood and the sacrifice and courage of early settlers. White stands for purity, peace, and integrity of Lafayette as the county seat of government of Tippecanoe County. Blue suggests the history of Lafayette as a river town. Gold symbolizes the honors bestowed on Lafayette through its history, and also is the color of corn, an important crop for the county.
The star in the canton of honor signifies Lafayette’s historical designation as the Star City of the Wabash River. The points of the star represent the many arms of citizens who continue to reach out and contribute to the city. The wavy blue band denotes the Wabash River, a major influence on the founding and growth of the city. The red triangles symbolize balance, stability, and diversity, as well as the mathematical symbol delta, representing change. Thus diversity and change are balanced and connected by the flowing river, symbolizing that all citizens may find their place in the city.
Lafayette’s City Council adopted the flag on April 9, 2007.  (JP)

1The members of the Youth Council are Jade Anthrop, Nick Brown, Rhett Buwalda, Ellen Coates, Colin Denhart, Reed Koester, Brittany Oliver, Nastassja Richardson, Molly Scherer, Rachel Sekine, and Rory Stodgell. (Information from the city’s website.)



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