Bellingham, Washington, City Flag

Jun 2nd, 2017

Bellingham is one of the largest cities in Washington. It is located in Whatcom County in the northern part of the state. Bellingham was incorporated as a city in 1904, but did not adopt an official flag until April 2017.



In 2015, the Downtown Bellingham Partnership hosted an unofficial city flag contest. The winning design was created by Brad Lockhart, a local artist. It was raised for the first time in March 2016. Since that time, the flag became popular and has been flown as an unofficial city flag by local businesses and individuals.


Bellingham’s new city flag meets Vexillological guidelines for flag design. It has a simple design, uses basic contrasting colors, and contains no wording or complicated symbols.


Lockhart, the flag’s creator, outlined the symbolizations of the flag design on his website. They are listed below.


*     Blue Half Circle: Bellingham Bay

*     Two White Stars: Nooksack Indian Tribe and the Lummi Nation

*     White Wavy Lines: “Noisy waters” – or, if flown vertically, the wavy lines symbolize Whatcom Falls

*     Four Green Stripes: The four former towns of Bellingham, Fairhaven, Sehome and Whatcom that now comprise the city of Bellingham


The Bellingham City Council decided to adopt Lockhart’s design as the official city flag because the flag was already popular in the city. According to the Seattle Times, Michael Lilliquist, City Council President, indicated that a plus was that the design looks great on the back of his car in the form of a sticker. Before being approved, the design was endorsed by the City Council and the tribal councils of the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Indian Tribe. Those tribes, called Coast Salish Indian Tribes, were residents of the area long before the first settlers arrived.


The flag is scheduled to be officially raised and presented to the public in a ceremony scheduled for Flag Day - June 14, 2017. Bellingham citizens are very happy with the new flag, and have even created a Facebook page for fans to follow.


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