Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Wrigley Field W Flag

A recent post at Uniwatch showed this picture on the history of the flags that fly at Wrigley Field.

This comes from my 1947 Cubs program.  You'll notice something that is different with the W flag.  The colors are reversed from what is done today.  Originally the Cubs used a blue flag with a  white W.  Somewhere along the way, it was reversed to the white flag with a blue W that we are familiar with today.

The question---when was it switched.

Wikipedia has a detailed article on the W flag.  But all it says it that the color reversal was done some time in the early 80's.  I thought I would try to nail it down to an exact year.

I started looking through my Cubs media guides.  Below is page 5 from the 1989 guide.

You can see that it mentions the blue flag with white W.  That means the switch hadn't taken place yet.

On to the 1990 guide, this time page 6:

So the switch has been made, according to the media guide, some time between 1989 and 1990.  But, was it made during the 1989 season of for the 1990 season?  More detective work ensued.

I found this picture in the Cubs 1990 yearbook.  

It shows the final home game of the 1989 season.  The fans called the team out for a curtain call.  That is Jerome Walton acknowledging the cheers.  If you look at the very top of the picture you can see the white W flag on the mast.

So, using the media guide and this picture, the Cubs reversed the W  flag colors in 1989.

Case closed.

Case re-opened.

I found this picture in the 1985 yearbook.  That is clearly a white W flag flying.

The color swap was done much earlier.  Apparently no one in the Cubs media department read the Wrigley Field article that was run in the media guides.  For years they had the wrong information.

So when was the switch actually made?

I have no idea.  I'm back to square one....some time in the early 1980s.

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