five-point star situation

Where I am in my research:

The Tribune article expressing Rice’s discontent with the plan to make the stars five-pointed led me to look in 1928’s council proceedings to find what action, if any, was taked on the proposed ordinance. I assumed, since the current flag sports lovely six-pointed stars, that the ordinance was shunted off to committee or never introduced.

Some time with the indexes to the proceedings revealed that it did indeed come up for a vote on February 15th, 1928 — and the ordinance passed. Which means that the City Clerk should have made the appropriate changes to the city code. However, all the printed and bound editions of the code that the Municipal Reference department can produce all have “six in number” language. I didn’t make careful notes on the exact dates of the volumes, so I can’t be sure the changes were never applied.

However, I’ve yet to see a picture of a flag from the 1928-1933 era, between the time the change was made and the third star was added. Also, the only reference I’ve found to “five-pointed” stars (and what I assumed was a typo) is from a typewritten page by Frederick Rex, one of the municpal librarians. It’s an excerpt from the “Quarterly Bulletin” of the Municipal Employees Society from Sept. 1930.

I’ve checked the indexes to the City Council proceedings from 1928-1939 for further changes to the flag (perhaps undoing the five-to-six point change), but the only actions I could find were the adding of stars. The 1939 ordinance adding the fourth red star for Ft. Dearborn contains the “points, six in number” language, both in the section to be modified and the text to be added.

So, at some point between 1928 and 1939 (or possibly 1933, since I’ve seen three-star flags with six points) they changed the language back, and this action didn’t get picked up by the indexer of the proceedings. It’s also possible that the six-to-five change was never made, which opens a whole other can of worms — what happens when ordinances pass but never make it onto the books?

One Response to “five-point star situation”

  1. Shh! says:

    Keep asking questions like that and you’re liable to find yourself in trouble.

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