Cook County officials, including Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, at a flag-raising ceremony on Sept. 24 at Daley Plaza for the county's new "I Will" flag. (Cook County Press)

Cook County officials raised a newly redesigned flag at Daley Plaza in Chicago on Sept. 24. The flag-raising comes as the county nears its 200th anniversary.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to have led this historic redesign of the new flag for the nation’s second largest county,” said Cook County Commissioner and Flag Advisory Panel Co-Chair Scott Britton in a statement.

“The process empowered students from every corner of the County to creatively visualize the very best of what we represent. The new ‘I Will’ flag will wave for the first time for the social justice, innovation, natural resources, and history that the County represents.”

The new flag is the culmination of a multi-year search that started out in 2019 with 300 high school student submissions from 40 schools throughout the Cook County, officials said. 

Cook County officials, including Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, at a flag-raising ceremony on Sept. 24 at Daley Plaza for the county’s new “I Will” flag. (Cook County Press)

“A flag is a symbol of civic pride, history and community. As Cook County approaches its bicentennial, we are proud to represent the cultures, spaces and people that make our home special,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

“We congratulate all the students who worked on this project,” she said. “They’ve added their mark to Cook County’s rich history and we hope this flag will highlight the County’s values for years to come.”

The “I Will” flag was designed by Glenbrook South High School student Andrew Duffy and mentored by Cook County Bureau of Administration Graphic Designer Martin Burciaga, officials said.

“Through color, shape, and symbolism, the ‘I Will’ flag elevates the land, culture, institutions and the core values that bring us together — different from a depiction of the physical boundaries that separate us outlined in the predecessor.”

Duffy said trying to create a flag that was representative of the county’s over 5 million residents was challenging.

“I went through countless different symbols and colors to find the right design for the ‘I Will’ flag,” he said. “I am incredibly honored to have been chosen as the winner and hope the people of Cook County enjoy seeing their new flag.”

The flag’s symbolism

“Blue symbolizes the County’s waterways, green for preserved lands and riverbanks, red for social change, and the blank canvas of white for the innovation to come,” county officials explained.

“The central “Y” shape highlights the regional rivers joining at Wolf Point while harkening back to the original Municipal Device of Chicago. There are six stars to represent foundational moments of Cook County, each one seven-pointed to represent each County region, the city of Chicago, and the Forest Preserves, and they join to symbolize residents’ unity and common mission.”

To learn more about the flag redesign process, competition, participants, and designs, visit: