Louisville, Kentucky, City Flag History

Jan 15th, 2017

Louisville was founded in 1778. The city is one of the oldest West of the Appalachian Mountains. Louisville is named after the king of France, Louis XVI. It adopted its first official city flag in 1949.


Louisville City Flag


The ordinance adopting the flag stated:


“A flag which shall have thirteen silver stars and three gold fleur-de-lis placed upon a field of blue. ‘The stars shall be arranged in a circle in the first quarter after the manner of the thirteen stars of the American Flag as adopted by Congress June 14, 1777. Two gold fleur-de-lis shall be placed in the second quarter and one gold fleur-de-lis shall be placed in the fourth quarter so that the three form a triangle with the point at the bottom and the base at the top….The blue of the flag shall be the same shade of blue as is in the field of the American Flag.’”


The flag came into being as a result of the efforts of Louisville Mayor Charles Farnsley. He wanted a symbol that would be representative of the city. The design that was chosen was given the following meanings:


·         13 Stars: The original 13 states that existed when Louisville was founded.

·         Fleur de Lis: In honor of King Louis XVI. The fleur de Lis traditionally represents French royalty.


After the city of Louisville merged with Jefferson County and consolidated its separate governments in 2003, the 1949 flag was no longer representative of the city. The new Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government immediately moved to adopt a new official city flag. The blue field was retained and a redesigned seal replaced the stars and three fleur de Lis’.


Louisville 2003


In 2004, the North American Vexillological Association conducted The American City Flag Survey. Louisville’s 1949 flag ranked 9th out of 150 flags. For some reason, the survey included the original Louisville flag instead of the new Louisville/Jefferson County Metro flag. If the 2003 flag had been ranked, it most likely would have received a low rating, as did all other city flags containing a seal.


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