Citizens Report American Irish Culture

Irish America Claims Chicago Flag!

Hibernian Media is in the final stages of editing their masterpiece IN SEARCH OF WEEPING JIM, the story of the late 31st Ward Chicago Alderman James Ambrose Kearns and his role as the “father of the Chicago flag.” The film is financed by the Consulate General of Ireland in Chicago and other generous donors.

Kearns introduced legislation in the Chicago City Council in 1915 that Chicago should have its own flag, with these words. “Whereas it is fitting and proper that the city of Chicago should have an emblem of its history, progress, enterprise and achievement made manifest in the shape and character of a municipal flag in order to symbolize properly the civic spirit of the city of Chicago, visualize local patriotism, stimulate industrial progress, and instill in the hearts of school children and of citizens a concrete evidence and example of the reality of the City of Chicago as a corporate  community and civic organism.”

Today the flag of Chicago is known all over the world and seen everywhere in this city of the big shoulders. Hibernian Media Chairman, Mike Houlihan, is equally proud of his team’s effort to “claim the Chicago flag for the Irish Diaspora!”

“Without Jim Kearns, there is no flag, And as Irish Americans we are proud to let the world know that an Irish emigrant who came to Chicago in 1884 at the age of 13, went on to transform America and the spirit of this city with his flag”

The film covers the lifelong friendship of Weeping Jim’s grandson, Dennis Kearns, with Houlihan and their eight pilgrimages to Ireland in search of ancestors of James Kearns, starting in 2013. And they found them too, as well as his birthplace on the tiny island of Iniscuttle, Kilmeena, just outside Westport in County Mayo; maybe one of the most gorgeous spots among the many islands of Clew Bay.

The film is bursting with great music from The Saw Doctors, Gaelic Storm, The Wolfe Tones, and locally Jimmy Cloonan and Friends, as well as an epic ballad written and performed by young Chicagoan and the Southside’s favorite Irish troubadour, Liam Durkin.

Hibernian Media has launched a fundraising campaign at where you can hear Liam’s ballad, learn more and donate to the cause to “claim the flag of Chicago for Irish America!”

More info at

Houlihan says, “The City of Chicago flag was borne out of the efforts of an Irishman from Mayo and it’s time we reminded the world of this fact!”

Hibernian Media will celebrate Irish America claiming the Chicago flag at a party on Wed. June 9th at 7PM at Cork & Kerry Irish Pub, 10614 South Western Ave. in Beverly with a free Paddy’s Irish Whiskey raffle and music from Liam Durkin and Jimmy Cloonan & Friends. All Irish Americans, family and friends are invited to celebrate the Chicago flag that night. Please join us for the craic.

Houli urges all Irish Americans to embrace your “Irish Privilege” and join us for whiskey, music, and waving the Chicago flag.

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