The gold color of the top fess symbolizes Milwaukee's rich brewing history. Once known as "The Beer Capital of the World," Milwaukee is affectionately referred to as the "Brew City" to this day.
The centered disc represents the sun rising over the horizon of Lake Michigan, as seen while looking East from the shore of the city. The sunrise symbolizes hope and a new day. Universally, the color white represents peace and unity. To many Milwaukeeans, this color has also come to symbolize our long winters.
The three stripes in the sun's reflection represent the founders of Milwaukee and its three original settlements: Kilbourn Town, Juneau Town and Walker's Point. Their light blue color symbolizes our three rivers: Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic.
The navy color of the bottom fess symbolizes Lake Michigan and our status as a port city and hub for water technology.
The name "Milwaukee" comes from an Algonquian word Millioke, meaning "Good", "Beautiful" and "Pleasant Land." Milwaukee’s proximity to Lake Michigan has long been a defining characteristic; a place where we continue to gather today. The new flag is composed of colors retained from the previous banner—white, yellow, light blue, dark blue—adopted in 1954, and are well-documented throughout the city.
The central charge from the previous banner, a gear, has evolved into the sunrise. Once a city of industry, we remain an industrious people. Our three rivers and rich brewing history are also symbolized in a meaningful way. The result is a durable symbol that changes the narrative of Milwaukee for the better.