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Fort Wayne, Indiana (U.S.)

Allen County

Last modified: 2020-12-09 by rick wyatt
Keywords: fort wayne | indiana | allen county |
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[Fort Wayne, Indiana flag] 2:3 image by Blas Delgado Ortiz, 22 December 2005
based on an image at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Wayne



See also:


Current Flag

Text and image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright. Image(s) from American City Flags by permission of David B. Martucci.

Design

The flag of Fort Wayne has a dark blue field trisected by a white Y-shaped figure positioned horizontally. The top of the "Y" extends to both corners of the hoist, and its bottom bisects the fly. Overlying the center of the "Y" is a white circle with a blockhouse in red. Curved above the blockhouse is FORT WAYNE, below is INDIANA, on the hoist side 17, and on the fly side 94, all in dark blue. A silhouette of a male Native American head is centered in the hoist field, in red, with two feathers and in profile facing the fly. In the top fly field is a red fleur-de-lis and in the lower fly field, is an upright red lion, facing the fly.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Symbolism

The white "Y" represents the confluence of three rivers in the center of Fort Wayne: the St. Joseph (top hoist), the St. Mary's (bottom hoist), and the Maumee (fly). The blockhouse symbolizes the original Fort Wayne, established in 1794 by General Anthony Wayne, for whom the city is named. The Indian head recalls the early settlement of the Miami Indians near the city's current site. The fleur-de-lis recognizes the contribution of the French, who organized Fort Miami, the first fort on the site, as a trading post in the 1680s. The lion symbolizes the British, who captured Fort Miami in 1760 and occupied it until 1763, when the Indians reoccupied the site during Pontiac's Rebellion. Indians held the area until Gen. Wayne secured the land in 1794 for the fledgling United States.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Selection

The flag was selected through a contest, in 1916. (More details below.)
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Designer

Guy Drewitt, whose 1916 design is described (no picture is extant) as a blue field with a white Y and two small white stars, position unspecified, to recognize Fort Wayne's position as the second largest city in Indiana. Drewitt's original design was apparently used until 1934, when at the suggestion of a local citizen he modified the flag to its current design.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

More about the Flag

From: www.amlegal.com

TITLE I: GENERAL PROVISIONS
CHAPTER 11: CITY STANDARDS
Section General Provisions
11.01 Corporate seal
11.02 City flag

§ 11.01 CORPORATE SEAL.
(A)The seal of the city is a representation of Mercury's Wand, entwined with two serpents on the right, a sword on the left and a pair of scales on the top with the word "Ke-ki-on-ga" with the inscription "City of Fort Wayne, Indiana," around the outer edge. The seal's inside circle shall be white, the outside circle shall be blue and the remainder, gold.
(B)A facsimile of such seal is reproduced below:

[Insert seal art here]

('74 Code, § 1-10) (Am. Ord. G-95-72, passed - -72)

§ 11.02 CITY FLAG.
The official flag of the city shall be of the following design and proportion:
  1. The field shall be blue, in the center of which shall be superimposed a white, circular center.
  2. From the outer circumference of the white center three white bands shall extend: a horizontal band from the circumference of the white center to the middle of the hoist end of the blue field, a diagonal band from the circumference of the white center of the lower free corner of the blue field. The position of the inner edges of the two diagonal white bands shall coincide with the corner diagonals of the blue field from the circumference of the white center to the corner of the free end of the blue field, upper and lower, respectively.
  3. Superimposed upon the white center and contained within its circumference shall be a red block-fort silhouette. Superimposed upon the lower blue hoist field shall be a red fleur-de-lis silhouette. Superimposed upon the free-end blue field shall be a red conventional Indian head silhouette.
  4. The proportion scale of the flag and its several devices shall be as follows: Total length 36 units; total width, 24 units; diameter of the white center 12 units; width of the horizontal wide bands three units each; height of the block-fort in white center, eight units; height of the rampant lion, four units;height of the fleur-de-lis four units and height of the Indian head, five units.
  5. The shades of blue and red shall be those of the flag of the United States.
  6. The block house silhouette shall follow the conventional form made familiar by the late B.J. Griswold and frequently employed by him to depict the pioneer days of the city. One pattern which will be preserved and permanently available appears on the binding edge of the 1917 edition of Griswold's "The History of Fort Wayne," on record in the Fort Wayne Public Library.
  7. The rampant lion shall be the conventional design commonly known as the "British Lion."
  8. The fleur-de-lis shall be the conventional design commonly employed with reference to the French monarchy of the eighteenth century.
  9. The Indian head shall be the conventional profile commonly employed to represent an Indiana chief, with feather but no other head-dress.
  10. The words "Fort Wayne" or the abbreviation "Ft. Wayne" in standard block letters, blue upon the white band (or bands) or white upon either of the three blue fields, may be used at the discretion of the maker, but neither the word nor the abbreviation shall constitute a part of the official specifications of the emblems.
  11. The flag may be specially formed for vertical hanging, in which case the hoist end shall be the upper or bar end of the banner. When manufactured specially for vertical suspensions from the hoist (bar) end, the block-fort, the fleur-de-lis, the lion and the Indian head silhouettes may be rotated in such a manner that they appear in an upright position upon the vertically suspended fields.
  12. When used in connection with the United States flag, at any time or occasion whatsoever, the Fort Wayne flag shall be subordinated at the left or below the national colors.
('74 Code, § 1-11.)
Dov Gutterman, 18 June 2000

Selection of the flag (from the News-Sentinel, 14 June 2014)

Quoting Jaclyn Goldsborough, The News-Sentinel, 14 June 2014:

[...]

It was 1916 and Hoosiers throughout the Crossroads of America were celebrating the state's centennial. In Fort Wayne, the week-long celebration was one for the history books. With a historical pageant, concerts and even a special visit by former President William Howard Taft, the centennial celebration was also the driving force behind the Journal Gazette's flag-design competition.

Many submitted designs for the contest, but the ultimate winner of the contest was a young Fort Wayne man by the name of Guy Drewett. At the time, Drewett was 26 years old and courting Mahala Sroufe who helped him make the flag. Drewett entered in hopes of winning the $50 prize, and, according to family history, he experimented with numerous designs before settling on the final, simple design. The first flag, handmade by Sroufe from a royal blue fine silk, had a large “Y” in the center - representing the three rivers, St. Mary's, St. Joseph and the Maumee, as well as two white stars on each in the lower corners denoting Fort Wayne as the state's second city. Drewett was a smart man. After the contest was over, he went door-to-door selling cotton reproductions on the original flag to nearby neighbors who aptly supported him. He even had a clever slogan, ““Buy it from the GUY that DREW IT” - Guy Drewett, designer of the Fort Wayne Flag.”

Then in 1934, Drewett was approached by veteran and historian Col. Clyde Dreisbach about redesigning the flag to add more historical elements. The new designed featured a silhouette of a blockhouse representing the city's pioneer days. Also added was an Native American head, a French fleur-de-lis and a British lion. Each element tells it's own story of Fort Wayne's history. The French explorer LaSalle found an Indiana village called Kekionga at the confluence of the three rivers in 1670. Not many years after that, the French built a blockhouse and stockade - pictured in the flag - called Fort Miami. The fort was the first built in what is now Indiana and it served as a military outpost and trading center hence the French fleur-de-lis. After the British General James Wolfe defeated the French General Louis-Joseph, Marquis de Montcalm on Quebec's "Plains of Abraham" in 1759, the British took over all French forts, but they didn't kept them for long. This is represented by the British lion in the flag. Then, after two years of planning, Ottawa Indian Chief Pontiac called for a rebellion and in 1763 the fort fell. The Miami kept the fort until 1794 when "Mad Anthony" Wayne invaded the territory. The Miami heritage is represented by Native American head. When he finished his redesign he, once again, handed it off to his now wife - Mahala Drewett - to sew.
Later that same year, the City Council adopted the newly designed flag as the city's official flag on June 26, 1934. Then September, Guy proudly watched his wife raise the flag during the opening of Fort Wayne's water filtration plant.

[...]

As proud as the family is about their Fort Wayne legacy, the Drewett's decided to donate the original flag to the History Center in 1955. Today, Walter Font, curator of the History Center, protects the original flag. Tattered, worn and faded, the flag was covered in a protective Mylar in 1986, however, it still holds together beautifully. Font also has a cotton reproduction of the flag that Guy was selling door-to-door.

[...]
Ivan Sache, 3 October 2020


The Seal

[City Seal] image located by Paul Bassinson, 20 July 2019

Source: https://www.cityoffortwayne.org/
Paul Bassinson, 20 July 2019