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Charlotte, North Carolina (U.S.)

Mecklenburg County

Last modified: 2023-12-30 by rick wyatt
Keywords: mecklenburg county | charlotte | north carolina |
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[flag of Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, North Carolina] 3:5 image(s) by permission of David B. Martucci
image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright.


 


See also:


Background

Based on the web page at www.cmstory.org/govt/page6.asp, Charlotte has two official flags, the blue saltire flag and the green crown flag. On the web page, both are labeled as 'Mecklenburg Co. flag', but described as 'City of Charlotte' flags. Charlotte is in Mecklenburg County, but the two are not coterminous and separate governments are maintained. Some functions, however, have been merged, most notably the school system but also, from what I can tell from the web, public libraries and some other things. Both the city and county governments seem to be housed in the same building complex as well.
Joe McMillan, 28 February 2003


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

Charlotte’s flag has the city seal centered on a white saltire on a light blue field. The seal depicts a tree in the center. To the left, a hornet’s nest hangs on the tree. On the right, a liberty cap bearing the word LIBERTY hangs on one of the tree’s branches. Rays radiate behind the tree. Below the tree, two hands clasp, with 1775 below. Enclosing this design, CITY OF CHARLOTTE MECKLENBURG COUNTY curves clockwise over the top of the seal and NORTH CAROLINA curves counterclockwise below. Between these inscriptions are two stars. The seal appears in blue outline on a white field surrounded by blue inner and outer lines. A white fimbriation separates the seal from the field.
Richard Monahan, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Symbolism

The flag closely resembles Scotland’s saltire (St. Andrew’s Cross), although it may instead be a conscious or unconscious adaptation of a Confederate battle flag. Blue and white are Charlotte’s official colors. The tree represents growth. The hornet’s nest is a symbol for the city dating from Revolutionary times. In the words of a city pamphlet, ... in the American Revolution, her citizens fought so fiercely that a British general compared being in Charlotte to being in a hornet’s nest. The Liberty Cap is another reference to the Revolution, showing the desire of Charlotte’s citizens for freedom. A further reminder of the American Revolution is the date 1775, when the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was adopted (the year before the Continental Congress adopted one for all the colonies). Overall, the seal and flag suggest a sense of history and, as a tree can grow from a sapling to a mighty oak, hope for a grand future is further emphasized by the rays radiating from behind the tree.

The historical authenticity of the “Mecklenberg Declaration of Independence” has been challenged by most scholars who have investigated the subject.
Richard Monahan, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Selection

Adopted by the city council.
Flag adopted: 6 May 1929 (official)
Richard Monahan, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Designer

Information unavailable.
Richard Monahan, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003


Alternative Flag

[flag of Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, North Carolina] 3:5 image(s) by permission of David B. Martucci
image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright.

Charlotte has another flag, adopted in 1985. It may be considered a government service flag, since it is flown outside the Government Center and its central charge appears on government vehicles. It consists of a stylized white crown centered on a green field occupying about the central three-fifths of the flag overall. Its center forms an “M”. The crown is for unity—all city agencies cooperating for the good of Charlotte’s citizens. 
Richard Monahan, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

This design using a green crown is painted on the white cars and trucks owned by the city. Official writing paper used by city agencies has a gold crown at the top.
Zachary Harden, 26 February 2003

From www.charlottetour.org/files/Download/QUEEN.pdf:
"A representation of Queen Charlotte's coronation crown is used as a city emblem and appears on the city flag." An image of her crown appears in the background of her portrait at upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b2/Nathaniel_Dance_Queen_Charlotte.jpg.
Ned Smith, 15 February 2008


 
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