City of Madison, Wisconsin | Legislative Information Center
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Bookmark and Share
File #: 51898    Version: 1 Name: Madison Official City Flag
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
File created: 5/29/2018 In control: COMMON COUNCIL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
On agenda: 7/24/2018 Final action: 7/24/2018
Enactment date: 8/4/2018 Enactment #: ORD-18-00076
Title: Creating Section 1.15 of the Madison General Ordinances to codify the Madison Official City Flag and to repeal Resolution #4408.
Sponsors: Arvina Martin, Maurice S. Cheeks
Attachments: 1. Resolution #4408, 2. Flag image

Fiscal Note

No fiscal impact.


Creating Section 1.15 of the Madison General Ordinances to codify the Madison Official City Flag and to repeal Resolution #4408.


DRAFTER'S ANALYSIS:  This proposal modifies the Official Madison City Flag.  It removes the sun symbol of the Zia Pueblo people from the Flag and replaces it with a gold circle.  It also repeals April 12, 1962 Resolution 4408, which adopted the current design of the Official Madison City Flag.  In its place, this proposal codifies the description of the modified City Flag as an ordinance.




The Common Council of the City of Madison do hereby ordain as follows:


Section 1.15 of the Madison General Ordinances is created to read as follows:


1.15                     OFFICIAL CITY FLAG.

(1)                      Findings.

1.                      Rick Stone and Dennis Stone, Boy Scouts and members of the Madison Drum and Bugle Corps, with the aid of their color guard instructor, John Price, designed and created a flag to symbolize the spirit of Madison and which the Corps would use on its trips.

2.                      Rick and Dennis Stone and their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Philip Stone, dedicated the flag to the people of Madison for use as the official flag of the city.

3.                      On April 12, 1962, the City of Madison adopted the flag as its official city flag by Resolution Number 4408.

4.                     The design elements of the flag depict features of our local landscape, such as the isthmus, the four lakes and the state capitol.

5.                      The original design of the flag also featured the sun symbol of the Zia Pueblo people, a federally-recognized Native American tribe in New Mexico.

6.                      The sun symbol is a most sacred symbol for the Zia people, with exceptional religious and cultural significance, and which represents the tribe itself.

7.                      Appropriating a symbol of such importance diminishes its sacred meaning and demeans the Zia people.

8.                      The Zia tribe has for decades sought to reclaim its sacred sun symbol from being used without permission.

9.                      While the designers of the flag used the Zia Pueblo sun symbol without any malicious intent, we now understand the destructive impact on indigenous peoples of cultural and religious appropriation, and when we know better, we must do better.                     

(2)                     Resolution #4408 is hereby repealed.

(3)                     The Official City Flag.  The Official City Flag consists of the following features:

(a)                      Relative dimension of 2 to 3, hoist to fly.

(b)                      A background of light blue, bisected diagonally by a white band running diagonally from the lower left corner of the width, or hoist, of the flag to the upper right corner of the length, or fly end, of the flag. The width of the white band is equal to one-third (1/3) of the width, or hoist, of the flag. Superimposed on the white band, in the center of the flag, is a black cross. The four limbs of the black cross are of equal length and are aligned on the flag in the manner of the four cardinal points of a compass, with each limb pointing to the center of a side of the flag. Each limb has a point consisting of a 90-degree angle on the end of the limb.  Overlaid on the black cross is a gold circle.  The reverse side of the flag is a mirror image of the obverse side of the flag.

(c)                      The two light blue segments (Pantone 298 C) separated by the white diagonal band represent Lakes Mendota and Monona. The white band symbolizes the isthmus between the two lakes.  The black cross super-imposed on the white band symbolizes the State Capitol and the Four Lakes. The gold circle (Pantone 123 C) symbolizes the dome of the State Capitol.

(4)                      Diagram of the Official Flag of the City of Madison.