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St. Louis, Missouri (U.S.)

Last modified: 2012-05-11 by rick wyatt
Keywords: st. louis | missouri | lewis | clark | world's fair |
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[flag of St. Louis, Missouri] image by Jorge Candeias, 18 October 1998

See also:

Description of the flag

The flag has a red field, with blue wavy lines (presumably representing rivers), outlined in white, coming from the two left corners, meeting approximately one-third of the way from the left of the flag. Extending from their intersection is another river line extending horizontally to the right end of the flag. However, the intersection of the three lines is covered by a blue fleur-de-lis in a gold circle. The fleur denotes St. Louis's original French settlement (having been named for King Louis).
Kevin Joseph, 27 April 1998

This flag is known as the "3-Rivers" flag -- the coming together of the Missouri, Mississippi, and Illinois rivers at St Louis.
Keith Bakunas, 24 October 1999

The St. Louis city flag is occasionally flown in St. Louis County, although it has no legal status there. St. Louis City seceded from St. Louis County in 1876 and is now considered a separate Missouri county. There is at the moment, extremely modest sentiment here for rejoining the two in some fashion. This flag may possibly become a regional symbol in the future.
Christopher S. Johnson, 30 January 1999

Revised Code of the City of St. Louis, (Section 1.20.010)

"The design submitted by Professor Emeritus Theodore Sizer, Pursuivant of Arms at Yale University, and now on file in the office of the City register is approved, adopted and designated as the official flag of the City. The flag with a solid red background has two broad heraldic wavy bars, colored blue and white, extending from the left top and bottom corners toward left center where they join and continue as one to the center right edge. This symbolizes the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Over the point of confluence a round golden disk upon which is the fleur-de-lis of France (blue) calling attention to the French background of the early city and more particularly to St. Louis of France for whom the City is named. The golden disk represents the City and/or the Louisiana Purchase. (Heraldically, the disk is a "bezant" or Byzantine coin signifying, money or simply purchase.)

The flag's colors recall those of Spain (red and yellow or gold), Bourbon France (white and gold), Napoleonic and Republican France (blue, white and red), and the United States of America (red, white, and blue)."
Thomas G. Pike, 3 April 2000

Flag of 1861

[1861 flag of St. Louis, Missouri] image by Rob Raeside, 4 October 1998

This is taken from The Civil War in St. Louis by William C. Winter:

The flag flying from the Berthold mansion was described in unflattering terms by one newspaper as "an ugly, doleful, uninspiring piece of cloth, consistent of a 'yaller' cross, crescent and star arranged in an angle in a deep indigo-blue field." Another newspaper described the flag's color as nearly black. A crescent was on one corner, a cross turned upside down occupied its center, and the other corner was occupied by a single star.
This flag only flew a day or two. Winter describes another flag raised over St. Louis at this time as an "'American ensign' with only one star and bearing the Missouri coat of arms."

Christopher Johnson, 6 October 1998

Early 20th Century Flag

[early 20th century flag of St. Louis, Missouri] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 22 March 2010

Reference is made to an old St Louis flag at
Al Kirsch, 19 March 2010

This image is in Old Glory (dark) shades of blue and red. What's the horseman? Some local statue? Of Saint Louis? Note French symbolism in the colors and fleur de lis.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 22 March 2010

Quoting the official website of the City of St. Louis:

"Apotheosis of St. Louis," the statue of Saint Louis, King Louis IX of France, was the original symbol of the City of St. Louis. The statue is located on Fine Arts Drive, at the top of Art Hill in Forest Park. The original plaster model of this statue was cast in 1903 by Charles H.Niehaus and stood at the main entrance to the 1904 World's Fair, where the History Museum now is located. [...]
The statue is of the Crusader King Louis IX of France, clad in 13th Century armor and depicted going into battle with an inverted sword symbolizing a cross. The statue is a symbol of the City of St. Louis. Pierre Laclede named the village he founded "Saint Louis" in April 1764 in honor of the reigning French King Louis XV, whose patron saint was Louis IX. [...]"
Ivan Sache, 3 April 2010

1904 World's Fair

[1904 World's Fair flag of St. Louis, Missouri] image by Dave Martucci, 30 November 1999

This flag was used during the Fair held in St. Louis, Missouri in 1904. Called the "The Louisiana Purchase Exposition" the event was celebrated by a special flag. The information is from "The St. Louis World's Fair" by Margaret Johanson Witherspoon (St. Louis MO, The Folkstone Press, 1973, p.93).
Dave Martucci, 30 November 1999

Also noteworthy is that the first modern Olympic Games in the Western Hemisphere were held in St. Louis in 1904 in conjunction with and immediately adjacent to the Exposition.
Bob Hague, 22 July 2003

I have what appears to be a 1904 St. Louis world's fair flag approximately 6 foot long. It matches the flag of the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair flag shown here, except, it has white stars and ensign (instead of yellow) on a blue background.
Richard O'Keefe, 6 March 2007

The photo is of an actual flag plus the drawing from the Patent of the design. It would appear that the Fleur-de-Lys is an outline and that it and the stars are white. It would also appear that the stars all point upwards. A 3:5 Ratio appears correct. The design was patented 7 April 1903 by Walter B. Stevens and is Patent Number D036273. The text of the Patent document reads:

"United States Patent Office.
Walter B. Stevens, of St. Louis, Missouri, Assignor to Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company, a Corporation of Missouri.

Design for a Flag or Banner.
Specification forming part of Design No. 36,273, dated April 7, 1903.
Application filed February 14, 1903. Serial No. 143,457. Term of patent 3-1/2 years.

To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, Walter B. Stevens, a citizen of the United States, residing at the city of St. Louis, State of Missouri, have invented a new, original, and ornamental Design for a Flag or Banner, of which the following is a specification, reference being had to the accompanying drawing, forming a part hereof. This invention relates to a certain new and original design for flags and banners; and it consists in peculiar features and characteristics hereinafter described. The accompanying drawing illustrates an elevation of the design as a flag or banner. As shown in said drawing, the design consists of a field which is the full width of the flag and about one-third of its length. This field bears a fleur-de-lis centrally arranged, which is surrounded by an elliptical figure formed of stars. The remaining portion of the flag is divided into three equal horizontal stripes of a contrasting color.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new, and desire to secure by Letters Patent is --
The ornamental design for a flag or banner as herein shown and described.

In testimony whereof I have signed my name to this specification in the presence of two subscribing witnesses.
Walter B. Stevens.
Witnesses: Bissell Ware, N.S. Bracon."

The only difference I see between the patent and the actual flag is the stars are arranged in an "elliptical" manner which resembles an oval with the longer axis up and down in the drawing while the actual flag shows them in a circle. There are 14 of them in both.
Dave Martucci, 16 March 2011

See also:

St. Louis Hills

[St. Louis Hills, St. Louis, Missouri] image located by Valentin Poposki, 23 December 2007

St. Louis Hills is situated in the southwest area of the City of St. Louis, Missouri. The boundaries for the neighborhood are Hampton Avenue on the east and south, Chippewa Street for the north, and the River des Peres on the west. St. Louis Hills still holds distinction as the last, large subdivision created in the city.

The flag of the neighborhood is shown at
Valentin Poposki, 23 December 2007