Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Please, no Olympics star for Chicago

I was indifferent to a Chicago Olympics in 2016 until I came across a terrible idea that will be proposed by Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th) if Chicago is awarded the 2016 Olympic Games. I'd like to put this image out there...

No 5th Star for the Chicago Olympics

...for use by anybody who, like me, does NOT want to see another star added to the Chicago flag if Chicago gets the 2016 Olympics.

Chicago's current flag...

The flag that works for the City That Works

...has four stars representing four significant events in Chicago history:

  1. Fort Dearborn, a true Chicago landmark without which our city might never have happened.
  2. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871, one of the most significant things ever to happen to our city.
  3. World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, whose White City inspired visitor Katharine Lee Bates to write about "alabaster cities" in her poem "America the Beautiful" and whose legacy include the housing of several of Chicago's great museums.
  4. The Century of Progress Exposition (1933-1934), a year-long celebration of Chicago's centennial.

The big four events were things that benefited, celebrated or – in the case of The Fire – devasted Chicago as a community. An Olympics event doesn't even come close in significance to the least of these. These were big, once-in-a-lifetime things. Compare that to the Olympics which somebody, somewhere, hosts every other year.

So that's how I came to oppose Chicago's Olympic bid. If the bid gets accepted next week, I'll bet there's no way to stop this terrible idea from inflicting itself on my city's flag. You can see in the artwork for the Chicago 2016 organization...

Chicago 2016 Olympics applicant city

...that they've been thinking about this fifth star idea all along. If Chicago gets the Olympics then sure as night follows sunset we'll be stuck with this thing on our flag.

No Chicago Olympics. And definitely, definitely no fifth star for such a paltry event.


Anonymous said...

hi bro, with the big Os pitching, i bet we get it (star and all).
: 0

J.R. Jenks said...

Yeah, I'm afraid you'll be right.

You know, when a baseball player retires he has to wait five years before he's eligible for nomination in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. We should have a similar standard for stars on the Chicago flag. Let's see if people still want to put an Olympics star on the flag in 2021.