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The Flag of Des Moines

Between the years 1974 to 2008, this flag was flown throughout Des Moines. After almost a decade of neglect, we stepped up and started a grassroots campaign to bring this iconic flag back for good. After being re-acknowledged by city council as our official flag in October of 2019, we are proud to act as stewards for this image and keep it thriving.

We have exciting plans for the future of this symbol, so please follow us on social media or subscribe to our newsletter below for updates.

Buy Flag Swag

Des Moines Flag

Des Moines Flag

$30.00 – $90.00

Des Moines Flag (Embroidered)
Des Moines Flag (Embroidered)
Des Moines Flag (Embroidered)
Des Moines Flag (Embroidered)

Embroidered Des Moines Flag
For Indoor Display

$30.00 – $150.00

Neck Gaiter

$8.00

Stocking Cap

$25.00

Des Moines Flag Socks
Des Moines Flag Socks
Des Moines Flag Socks

Cotton Socks

$10.00 - $25.00

Vintage Des Moines Logo T-Shirt
Vintage Des Moines Logo T-Shirt

Vintage DSM Logo T-Shirt

$25.00

Des Moines Flag T-shirt
Des Moines Flag T-shirt

Flag of Des Moines T-Shirt

$25.00

Des Moines Flag Dad Hat
Des Moines Flag Dad Hat
Des Moines Flag Dad Hat
Des Moines Flag Dad Hat
Des Moines Flag Dad Hat

Dad Hat

$25.00

Des Moines Flag Snapback Hat
Des Moines Flag Snapback Hat
Des Moines Flag Snapback Hat
Des Moines Flag Snapback Hat
Des Moines Flag Snapback Hat
Des Moines Flag Snapback Hat

Snapback Hat

$25.00

Des Moines Flag Trucker Hat
Des Moines Flag Trucker Hat
Des Moines Flag Trucker Hat
Des Moines Flag Trucker Hat
Des Moines Flag Trucker Hat

Trucker Hat

$25.00

Necktie (100% Silk)

$30.00

Des Moines Flag Bowtie
Des Moines Flag Bowtie
Des Moines Flag Bowtie

Bowtie (100% Silk)

$30.00

Des Moines Flag Socks
Des Moines Flag Socks

Canvas Tote Bag
(15¾ x 11¾ x 4 in.)

$10.00

Des Moines Garden Flag
Des Moines Garden Flag

Garden Flag (pole optional)
(12 x 24 in. / 18 x 38 in.)

$20.00 - $32.00

Des Moines Flag Soft Enamel Pin
Des Moines Flag Soft Enamel Pin

Soft Enamel Pin
(1½ x ¾ in.)

$10.00

Des Moines Flag Cycling Cap
Des Moines Flag Cycling Cap
Des Moines Flag Cycling Cap
Des Moines Flag Cycling Cap

Cycling Cap

Handmade in Des Moines
$25.00

Des Moines Flag Embroidered Iron-on Patch

Embroidered Iron-on Patch
(3 x 1½ in.)

$6.00

Des Moines Flag Mini Flag
Des Moines Flag Mini Flag

Mini Flag
(6 x 3 in. / 12 in. tall pole)

starting at $1.00

Des Moines Flag Sticker
Des Moines Flag Sticker
Des Moines Flag Sticker

Vinyl Stickers (UV Coated)
(5 x 2½ in.)

starting at $1.00

History

In March of 1974, a seventh-grade teacher named Gerald LaBlanc and some of his students from Callanan Middle School persuaded the City Council and Greater Des Moines Chamber of Commerce to host a citywide flag design contest. There were nearly 400 entries from Des Moines residents — ranging from toddlers to senior citizens. The contest winner was Walter “Bud” T. Proctor, an editor, publisher, and founder of American Host, a hotel-motel-resort industry magazine. Of his design, Proctor said, “…I wanted simplicity… an easy-to-recognize symbol people could see and recognize at once.”

Proctor’s red, white, and blue design drew from central features of our city: the Des Moines River and the Walnut, Locust, and Grand Street bridges that connect our downtown ecosystem.

The flag was officially adopted in April of 1974. By 1975, it was being flown outside of businesses and residences across the city. In the years that followed, it was used as a logo and symbol for the City of Des Moines, appearing on city letterhead and other material.

In the 1990s, production of the flag was retired though the flag continued to fly around town. In 2008, the fate of the flag was sealed as the City of Des Moines rebranded and stopped flying our fair flag. Since that moment, the flag of Des Moines as we once knew it appeared less and less.

Thanks to our grassroots movement in October 2019, Des Moines City Council members Chris Coleman, Josh Mandelbaum, and Mayor Frank Cownie — the original Des Moines flag was recognized as official once more.

Sources

  1. Official Flag of Des Moines Flying High Again WHO 13 News, October 22, 2019
  2. Des Moines again adopts three-bridge design for city flag Des Moines Register, October 14, 2019
  3. City Flags Of Iowa Iowa Public Radio, July 9, 2019
  4. The once and future flag: How a neglected symbol of Des Moines is making a comeback thanks to one local family Des Moines Register, June 13, 2019
  5. Symbols of Des Moines, Geoff Wood Medium
  6. Flag of Des Moines, Iowa, Wikipedia
  7. Des Moines, Iowa, Flags of the World
  8. American City Flags: Des Moines, Iowa, NAVA (North American Vexological Association)
  9. City of Des Moines Flag (Archived October 26, 2007), Internet Wayback Machine: City of Des Moines Official Website
  10. Walter T. Proctor’s Explanation of His City of Des Moines Flag Design (Archived December 16, 2005), Internet Wayback Machine: City of Des Moines Official Website

read more

Color + Symbolism

When seen together, this flag’s colors and symbols combine into a timeless and modern piece of our design history that deserves to be cherished for generations to come.

The simplicity of the shapes, drawn from symbols known to Des Moines, make this a design one can easily recall from memory.

Blue: The blue symbolizes the great Raccoon and Des Moines rivers whose union made this location in Iowa the perfect place for its capital city.

White: The three white color blocks–originally conceived as the Walnut, Locust, and Grand bridges — encompass the many great bridges of Des Moines that serve to connect us east and west.

Red: The red trapezoid represents the city of Des Moines and its passionate residents who serve as its life blood.

On the Importance of Flag Design

“What I love about flags is that once you understand the design of flags — what makes a good flag, what makes a bad flag — you can understand the design of almost anything.”
—Roman Mars, 99% Invisible

#FlagofDesMoines

Tag the flag! Follow us on Instagram @flagofdesmoines or use the hashtag #flagofdesmoines to show how much you love our great flag.

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About Us

Emily and Mason are a husband and wife duo that feel fortunate to be part of the incredible, creative community that is Des Moines. In 2017, when we read about the flag of Des Moines, we were shocked to learn how little support or awareness there was of this icon. We decided we'd set out to change that.

Together we also run Yellow Door Gallery a traveling art gallery/consultancy and Kettle Black Ceramics a small studio producing functional ceramics available at local small business.

Contact Us

E-mail is the best way to reach us. Let us know how you can support our mission to promote the flag. We're also here to answer your questions and hear your ideas and feedback.

Flag of Des Moines
2121 Wakonda Dr.
Des Moines, IA 50321

info@flagofdesmoines.com

Return and Refund Policy

Thank you for shopping at Flag of Des Moines. If, for any reason, You are not completely satisfied with a purchase you are entitled to a refund or cancellation within 30 days of the original purchase. The product must be in the original packaging and unused or in like-new condition.

We reserve the right to refuse returns of any merchandise that does not meet the above return conditions. If you have any questions about our Returns and Refunds Policy, please contact us at info@flagofdesmoines.com