Back in 1894, Rev. Dr. Henry C. McCook wrote a letter to then mayor, Edwin S. Stuart, suggesting that Philadelphia adopt a civic flag as a means of promoting civic pride. "The display and constant use of a Philadelphia Civic Flag would act towards the strengthening of civic pride, precisely as similar use of the National Flag tends to foster a spirit of national loyalty."
McCook's efforts proved fruitful. On March 27, 1895, an official civic flag was ordained by city council, designed using drawings McCook included in his letter.