Chicago Flags Finds a New Home in Gresham

From the August 2017 Vexilloid Tabloid #65
By Michael Orelove

About two years ago I wrote a  letter to the Chicago Fire Department requesting an old Chicago flag that had flown over a fire station.  I just received the flag.

It flew over Engine 83 which was 2.6 miles from where I used to live in Chicago.

Michael Orelove at Troutdale Fire Station 75.

I wanted to find a new home for the flag so I went to Troutdale Fire Station 75 and asked if they knew any firefighters with a Chicago connection.  They referred me to Joe Griffin of Gresham Fire Station 76.

I connected with Joe, who has family in Chicago and goes to back there about once a year.  I gave him the flag.

Joe Griffin and fellow firefighters at Gresham Fire Station 76.

As with other flags the stars and stripes represent different things.  On the Chicago flag each point of the stars has a different meaning.  For example, the second red star represents the Chicago Fire of 8–10 October 1871.  The points of the second star signify religion, education, esthetics, justice, beneficence, and civic pride.

Chicago adopted the original version of the flag in 1917.  Since then, it has added stars, and now flies extensively throughout the city.  The design has been voted one of the best in the country and has inspired other city flags.




Flag Burning in Portland

From the August 2017 Vexilloid Tabloid #65

As the recent 4th-of-July-weekend Blues Festival began, Portlanders continued their tradition of protest, often using flags.  At times that involved burning them.

The right-wing group Patriot Prayer planned a two-hour “Freedom March” at Tom McCall Waterfront Park with “a small amount of speeches to promote freedom   and courage”.  On Facebook it said “Fear will not silence Americans in these liberal strongholds.  Please bring your best behavior.”

Members of the Rose City Antifa burn a flag at the Portland Waterfront, 30 June 2017. Sarah Silbiger / The Oregonian

The opposition group Rose City Antifa [anti-fascist] organized an opposition rally called “Enough: Stop Patriot Prayer Now!”  On Facebook it said “We will not allow our community to be overrun by fascists and those who make excuses for them.”

Most demonstrators had passionate but peaceful conversations.   However, one fight started after some Antifa protesters burned flags.  One man tried to hit others with a broken flag pole.

Anti-Trump protesters burn an upside-down flag downtown, 20 January 2017. Beth Nakamura / The Oregonian

This behavior follows an incident where anti-Trump protesters burned American flags (and one Texas flag) in Pioneer Courthouse Square downtown on 20 January, Inauguration Day.

Eric Post

In response to that event, veteran Eric Post went to Willamette National Cemetery and recorded an emotional Facebook video at gravesites of Medal of Honor winners, inviting protesters to take a tour.  It went viral, with over 2 million views in three days.




Vexilloid Tabloid #65

There are lots of features in our latest newsletter (Vexilloid Tabloid #65):

  • Flag Burning in Portland (Ted Kaye)
  • Kids’ Flags from Room 25, Oak Knoll Elementary, Menlo Park (Bill Quarré)
  • Chicago Flag Finds a New Home in Gresham (Michael Orelove)
  • Reimagining the Royal and Vice-Regal Flags of the Commonwealth (Max Liberman)
  • The OPEN Flag (Carl Gurtman)
  • Proposed “American Resistance Flag” (Howard J. Wilk)
  • Pocatello, Idaho, Replaces its Worst-in-the-Country Flag (Ted Kaye)

It also includes our regular sections:

  • The What’s That Flag? quiz
  • A flag quote (see below)
  • Roundup (news items)
  • Flutterings (highlights from our last meeting)
  • Portland Flag Miscellany (news about the Portland city flag)
  • Next Meeting directions (14 September at Scott Mainwaring’s house)

To subscribe to get on the email distribution list, to submit items for a future issue, or to otherwise let us know your thoughts, email For back issues, visit our Vexilloid Tabloid page.

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