Masks required in Abakanowicz Research Center; optional for rest of Museum more

4.10 | Symbolism

Flags tell stories! The Chicago flag is full of symbolic meaning: the stars represent important events in the city’s history, the blues stripes stand for waterways, and the white stripes for where people live. Flags aren’t just for cities or countries. Some schools, such as universities and their sports teams, also have flags. In the past, families had flags with symbols on them to stand for things that were special to that family.

Postcard depicting Chicago’s municipal flag, c. 1952. CHM, ICHi-074031

What’s special about your family? Do you have a family saying? What activities do you like to do? What are your traditions? In this activity, ask your kids to design and make a family flag. Share your flag on social media using the hashtag #CHMatHomeFamilies.


The Chicago History Museum, a major museum and research center for Chicago and American history, is located at 1601 N. Clark Street. The Museum has dedicated more than a century to celebrating and sharing Chicago stories through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming. The Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents and images to help audiences connect to the city and its history. The Chicago History Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. The Chicago History Museum is a 2016 winner of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the highest award given to these institutions for their community engagement and having an impact on the lives of individuals, families, and communities.

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago's Stories