The symbol of a city hangs proudly in a window; the Wichita flag has become a sign of passion, pride and partnership, creating the backbone of what it means to be from Kansas. Thick red and white stripes form the path to and from a destination. The blue sun wrapped around the hogan captures the spirit of Wichita, a home away from home.
Cecil McAlister drew the flag for a 1937 flag design contest, winning the most votes and creating an object behind which hundreds of thousands have come to love.
“I do think it's a pride thing,” Angie Prather with the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce said. “Anyone who’s passionate wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and this is bigger.”
But McAlister’s famous flag design didn’t spark much interest for about 75 years. It wasn’t until about 2015 “flag fever” began to take over Wichita. The symbol began popping up on pins, mugs, postcards and magnets. Soon followed bags, T-shirts, jewelry and home decor. The Wichita flag enveloped the city, encouraging people to get involved with the community and rally together.
“The thing about this flag is that it doesn’t matter which side of the river I’m on, it doesn’t who I voted for, it doesn’t matter who I cheer for…there’s no barrier, there’s nothing that I have to worry about because we’re on the same team.” Prather said.
Now, “flag swag" is found in tons of places around Wichita, including many Visit Wichita partners. If you want to be a part of the positive movement or just want a little piece of Wichita to take home with you, check out many downtown stores including places like Bungalow 26, Lucinda’s and The Workroom.
Learn more about Wichita’s rich history and the development of the Wichita flag here.