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Raleigh, North Carolina (U.S.)

Wake County

Last modified: 2011-12-16 by rick wyatt
Keywords: raleigh | north carolina | law | wake county |
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[Front of Flag of Raleigh, North Carolina]      
Front (obverse)
image by Michael P. Smuda, 30 May 2000
[Back of Flag of Raleigh, North Carolina]
Back (reverse)
image by Rick Wyatt, 25 July 2001

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Description of the flag

The flag of the city of Raleigh, North Carolina is similar to that of Peru, but with the city arms in the white part.
Bruce Tindall, 28 September 1995

The City of Raleigh's one of about 450 U.S. cities to have an official flag. Raleigh's flag was authorized in 1899 - as the result of a wish by the City fathers to present a standard to the captain of the Cruiser USS Raleigh. That was the Navy's second "Raleigh," a protected cruiser built by the Norfolk Navy Yard in Portsmouth, Virginia, and launched on March 31, 1892. The flag was originally made by Miss Kate Denson. A bookkeeping entry of November 1899, revealed the cost of making the first ensign to be $52.

The official flag committee of 1899 recommended that Sir Walter Raleigh's colors of red and white be used for perpendicular bars (red, white, red) on each side of the flag. Raleigh is known as "the City of the Oaks," and on one side of the flag, the committee recommended use of an oak tree surrounded by a wreath of oak leaves and acorns with the words, "City of Raleigh 1792." (A 1960 City Council resolution added the word "established" to the 1792 date.) This symbol is used as the official City Seal. It is embroidered in green and gold and centered on the white bar.

On the reverse side of the flag, also on the white bar, is centered a portion of Sir Walter Raleigh's coat of arms; a red shield crossed by connecting silver "diamonds" extending from upper left to lower right. Atop the shield is a twisted strand of red and silver on which stands an antlered deer. Below the shield, a red ribbon carries in silver, the words, "Amore et Virtute," which is Latin for "By Love and Valor."

The deer on Sir Walter's crest is significant in that the name Raleigh is derived from two Anglo-Saxon words meaning "meadow of the deer." Deer once thickly populated the forest that became Raleigh, as they did the Hayes Barton region of England, Sir Walter's birthplace.

What is considered to be the flag originally commissioned by the Raleigh Board of Alderman in 1899 now hangs, encased in glass, in the first floor lobby of the Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex.
Source: City of Raleigh

Flag law

The City of Raleigh, North Carolina passed a law a few years ago prohibiting the flying of any flags other than those of the U.S., North Carolina, and the city. Apparently this was done to prevent one neo-Nazi from flying a Nazi flag at his house. Some religious groups and businesses objected because it also prevented them from flying their church or business-logo flags, and I believe that an adjustment was made, at least for the religious groups.
Bruce Tindall, 28 September 1995