Do You Really Know What Your Chicago Flag Tattoo Stands For?

Xavier in Stories

A Chicago native and tattoo artist schools shared with us some Chicago flag knowledge for those of you looking to get it tattooed.

Photo by Clark Maxwell
Photo by Clark Maxwell

For years, proud Chicagoans and tourists alike have been getting tattoos of their favorite city's flag without knowing what the four-star, blue and white striped flag really stands for. It's just natural to get a tattoo of a symbol of something if you like it enough. But local tattoo artist and Great Lakes Tattoo owner, Nick Colella is taking the extra step by letting his clients learn some extra knowledge before getting that flag tattoo.

Via WBEZ
Via WBEZ

“I always saw the flag either on letterhead or on city uniforms when we were kids we had Chicago flag patches sewn on our jackets,” Collela told Chicagoist. “When I started tattooing the flag would always come up as a request for a tattoo.” The tattoo artist recalls his earliest encounter with the Chicago flag.

He saw more of the flag of Chi-town when he started his career as a tattoo artist in his hometown. “I would just do the flag and think nothing of it. What I realized though was that a lot of the people who got the flag didn't even know what all the symbolism in it stood for,” he said. “Even more people would get the flag without even being from the city. I would get all kinds of stories from people anything from one of the stars stood for the last time the Cubs won the World Series to another of the stars stood for the Sears tower.” That's when he knew he had to do something.

Courtesy of Great Lakes Tattoo
Courtesy of Great Lakes Tattoo

Recent from Stories

For the very reason the Great Lakes Tattoo owner created a print that illustrated the important historical facts of the Chicago flag he would then display on his shop as a crash course on flag history and potential tattoo significance. The print, which has since then caught the attention of tourists and Chicago residents, is from a painting he made a decade ago.

Via ChicagoFlagTattoos.com
Via ChicagoFlagTattoos.com
Via ChicagoFlagTattoos.com
Via ChicagoFlagTattoos.com
Via ChicagoFlagTattoos.com
Via ChicagoFlagTattoos.com
Via ChicagoFlagTattoos.com
Via ChicagoFlagTattoos.com
Via WBEZ
Via WBEZ
Photo by Ella J. Phillips
Photo by Ella J. Phillips

“It's just a cool reminder of [how], no matter how much crap is going on in this city with its shady politics and school closings and budget cuts and violence, it has a very rich and deep history that people can identify with and be proud of,” Colella shared. Read all about it here.

Xavier

@Xavier

When she's not writing for Tattoodo, Xavier likes experimenting with art and organizing local music shows. We're kidding, she's probably asleep. Follow her on Instagram @claudia_strife

Follow

More from Author

We Recommend

Recent Staff Picks