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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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DUBUQUE FLAG. In 1967 after receiving a request from a local Girl Scout Troop to involve the public in a contest to design the official City of Dubuque flag, the Dubuque City Council approved a project known as “Operation Flag.” Both citizens and students at local schools were encouraged to submit their designs for the flag to a jury comprised of citizens. (1) The contest was sponsored by the Telegraph-Herald and radio stations KDTH and WDBQ. A jury of artists, historians and long-time citizens was scheduled to select the best designs. Entries would be judged in three divisions: 1) 1st-8th grades, 2) Ninth-12 grades, and 3) College age or older regardless of educational background. The grand winner was to be chosen from the winners of the three divisions. (2)

The winning design with the city's past, present, and future represented by colors was created by Mrs. Maureen Frommelt. The blue signified the waters of the MISSISSIPPI RIVER and its importance to Dubuque’s history. The green symbolized Dubuque’s scenic beauty, and yellow represented Dubuque’s bright future. Unifying them is the official seal in the center of the flag containing the words, “La Petite Nuit,” meaning, “the little night.” This was the Meskquakie' name for Julien DUBUQUE, founder of the city, and was used in the original registration of the 1788 agreement in which the Native Americans granted Dubuque permission to mine LEAD. (3)

At the July 3, 1967, city council meeting, the City officially adopted two resolutions: one commending the Girl Scout Troop for their efforts in creating public interest for the design of the official flag, and the second to approve and accept Frommelt’s design as the official flag for the City of Dubuque. (4)

Dubuque flags were available from the City of Dubuque Finance Department, located on the first floor of DUBUQUE CITY HALL at 50 W. 13th Street. Three sizes are available:

3' x 5' = $43

4' x 6' = $55

5' x 8' = $82



1. "Dubuque's Flag," Online: http://www.cityofdubuque.org/1553/Dubuques-Flag

2. "A Contest to Design Flag for Dubuque," Telegraph-Herald, February 15, 1967, p. 25

3. "Dubuque's Flag..."

4. Ibid.