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Chesapeake, Virginia (U.S.)

Independent City

Last modified: 2022-03-26 by rick wyatt
Keywords: chesapeake | virginia |
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[Flag of Chesapeake, Virginia] 3:5 (usage) image(s) by permission of David B. Martucci
image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright.

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Current Flag

Text and image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright. Image(s) from American City Flags by permission of David B. Martucci.


Chesapeake’s flag has a dark red field with the city seal in color in the center. Six gold five-pointed stars surround the seal at 9, 11, 1, 3, 5, and 7 o’clock. The seal has a diameter of 1.6 units on a field of 3 by 5 units. A narrow double ring of gold encircles the seal, forming an outer edge that appears as a single gold ring when reduced in size or seen from a distance. Another gold ring, this one beveled, 1.2 units in diameter, lies within the outer rings. In the space between on a dark red field appears, curved clockwise from 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock, • CITY • OF • CHESAPEAKE • VIRGINIA • 1963 • and curved below, counterclockwise, in smaller letters, NORFOLK COUNTY 1636 • SOUTH NORFOLK 1921, all in gold.

The center of the seal shows two male figures, facing each other and shaking hands. Their shirts, sleeves rolled up to the elbow, are white; their trousers, dark gray. The fly figure holds a large wrench in his left hand. In front of the hoist figure is an old-fashioned gray hand plow with red handles. The ground on which they are standing, which extends to the horizon line bisecting the seal horizontally, appears to be a plowed field, in gray. On the horizon line, on the hoist side, between the beveled ring and the figure with the plow, is a small white house surrounded by tall green trees. On the fly side is a gray factory with two smokeless smoke stacks, in front of which is a gray truck, facing the hoist. Between the two men is a gray freighter, moving toward the hoist, its stern hidden behind the fly figure. Above, and centered between the two men, is a small golden yellow sun, with 27 rays emanating from it out to the edge of the beveled ring. The sun shines in a light blue sky that fills the upper half of the seal. In very small dark blue letters curved and centered above the sun is ONE INCREASING PURPOSE.
John M Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003


The city describes the symbolism of the flag’s seal:
The man’s figure on the left [hoist] represents the rural population, with a background of fields, trees, and a home. The plow beside him represents agriculture. On the right [fly] is the man representing industry, with a factory in the background. The rising sun symbolizes the bright future that will result from the joined hands. The motto above the figures, ‘One increasing purpose’ is a phrase from [Alfred Lord] Tennyson’s Locksley Hall, a poem that deals with the promising future of man.
The red color of the flag stands for the valor at the Battle of Great Bridge (December 9, 1775, in which the British were completely defeated in the Virginia Colony), and the six gold stars are for the six boroughs of Norfolk County.
John M Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003


The seal was selected by a special meeting of the governing bodies of the City of South Norfolk and Norfolk County, which combined formed the new city of Chesapeake. The flag was proposed later by the new city’s mayor, Marian Whitehurst. The seal was officially adopted 2 January 1963.
Flag adopted: 23 December 1975 (official status uncertain)
John M Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003


Kenneth Harris, a Norfolk artist, who designed both the seal and flag.
John M Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

More about Chesapeake

From the city webpage at

"The City of Chesapeake is located in the region called Hampton Roads, the 27th largest metro area in the country with over 1.5 million residents. Chesapeake is also located adjacent to the world's largest natural harbor and the world's largest naval base. Part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, which stretches from Maine to Florida, passes through Chesapeake. Chesapeake is the second largest city in land area in Virginia (353 square miles) and 13th largest city in the U.S. Our estimated population as of January 1997 is 190,469.

The City of Chesapeake was created with the merger of Norfolk County and the City of South Norfolk in 1963. The city's history dates back much further. Chesapeake is the site of the battle of Great Bridge which took place on December 9, 1775, just a few hundred yards from where City Hall stands today.

Chesapeake is also the site of the Great Dismal Swamp and the South Norfolk Historic District. Chesapeake is one of the fastest growing cities in Virginia, with a population increase of 20.8% since 1990."

The City telephone book on the last page states that the city has two distinct graphic symbols: the city seal and the city logo. This might imply the flag here is unofficial. I note, however, that when the seal is used it is supposed to be used in the colour burgundy (PMS 208) - the burgundy field of this flag appears in keeping with the colour scheme.
Chris Kretowicz, 14 September 2002

The seal

[City Seal] image located by Paul Bassinson, 1 February 2020

Paul Bassinson, 1 February 2020

Police Department

[Chesapeake Police, Virginia] image located by Paul Bassinson, 14 February 2022

Paul Bassinson, 14 February 2022