The official seal of the City of Minneapolis was adopted in 1878. Its design was representative of our city at that time, from the pictorial view of St. Anthony Falls to the mill buildings and the 1878 skyline. Clustered in the foreground are symbols of the City’s economy, including a plowshare, shock of grain, barrel of flour, gear wheel, saw blade and stack of lumber. Overarching all is the City’s motto – “En Avant” or “Forward.” That motto embodies the progressive movement of the City seal’s dominant image, the powerful, live-giving Mississippi River.
The City of Minneapolis flag was the result of a design contest launched in 1955. The winning design, submitted by Minneapolis high school student Louise Sundin, features a white circle centered on a blue pennant. The circle is divided into four quarters, each containing a symbol that highlights a facet of Minneapolis’ character: a building to symbolize education and the arts; a cogged wheel and square symbolizing labor and industry; a pilot wheel symbolizing our lakes and rivers; a microscope symbolizing research, skilled craftsmanship and progress. Flag designer Louise Sundin went on to become a teacher in the Minneapolis Public Schools and is currently on MNSCU’s Board of Trustees.
City Hall’s clock tower soars 365 feet high and its clock was the largest in the world when it was installed in 1916, with faces which measure 23 feet, 6 inches in diameter, 6 inches larger than Big Ben’s. Each minute hand is over fourteen feet long. The tower’s bells weigh over 14 tones and have no peer in musical range. The tower itself is in the Richardson Romanesque style and is constructed from rusticated pink Ortonville granite.
Last updated Jan 27, 2015