NATO Flags Displace American Flags on Michigan Avenue Bridge

NATO flags on the Michigan Avenue Bridge

As the city of Chicago gets all ready for its appointment with the global spotlight, we’ve noticed a number of changes around town.

In addition to the usual barricades being stockpiled in strategic locations, and the disappearance of our Big Mouth solar trash compactors, and the significant increase in the number of police officers downtown, the flag display on the Michigan Avenue Bridge has been changed.

It used to alternate – U.S. / Illinois / Chicago across the span.

Now the order is Chicago / NATO / NATO / U.S. / U.S. / NATO / NATO/ Chicago.

We saw the change last week, but didn’t have a chance to take a picture.  Fortunately, someone e-mailed us a picture of one of the NATO flags.  Honestly, it looks very ominous and is perfect for feeding the delusions of New World Order types.

While all the other media in the city has been talking about NATO, this is our first article on the subject.  Mostly because we’re not sure what to make of it.  We’re big fans of spectacle.  But we’re not big fans of wanna-be anarchists reenacting the Battle of Seattle.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that after the vandalism that happened in Seattle, a number of high profile stores left the city for the safety of the suburbs.  Its downtown still hasn’t quite recovered.  There used to be a whole collection of high-end retail along Fifth Avenue, much like Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and Oak Street.  Today there are only four high-end stores left and they stick out like a store thumb among what filled in the burned-out and smashed-in storefronts.  The others all relocated to suburban Bellevue rather than rebuild their shops.  Now hordes of Chinese tourists come down from Canada by the busload and never see Seattle — they spend their money in the ‘burbs.

I still haven’t decided what to do when NATO comes.  I live in a high security zone.  The city has warned people in my building that getting in and out of our homes will be difficult.  The Secret Service, or whomever is coordinating security since OEMC apparently isn’t in the loop anymore, is even shutting down the trash chutes in our building for several days.

I don’t know whether to stock up on frozen pizzas and ride it out in my apartment, or hop the last Metra train to Michigan City and just watch Chicago burn on TV.

Do they get CLTV in Michigan City?

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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