Houston Public Media News 88.7 reports today on Preservation Houston's efforts to restore the prototype of the official City of Houston flag, which was donated to us. The prototype was made in 1915 as a guide for the first official flag, which was produced in New York and made its debut at a parade on July 4 of that year.
In 1915, Houston Mayor Ben Campbell asked residents to submit designs for the very first city flag. He then appointed a special committee to select the winner. And there were lots to choose from. David Bush is with Preservation Houston.
“There was one that was supposed to be a combination of the American flag and the Texas flag, and they didn’t really explain how that one worked, and there was one that was a comet,” Bush said. “The upper field was dark blue, the bottom field was red, the comet was yellow and it said ‘Houston.’"
Bush said the group recently acquired the prototype of the flag that the city ended up adopting. The winning design features a large white star emblazoned on a blue background. At the center are two red bands encircling the city seal. It includes a train signifying Houston’s railroads, along with a plough representing another important industry.
“We were a huge cotton port well into the 20th century,” Bush said. “Cotton was much more than oil at the beginning of the 20th century.”
PH is raising funds to have the flag restored and preserved, at which point it will be donated to the City of Houston.
Read more about the flag (and the accompanying, forgotten city song) in this article by the Houston Chronicle's Lisa Gray.