Chicago is the largest city by population in the state of Illinois and the American Midwest. Incorporated as a city in 1837 after being founded in 1833 at the site of a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed, it soon became a major transportation hub in North America and quickly became the transportation, financial and industrial center of the American Midwest.
Chicago is a major convention destination. The city's main convention center is McCormick Place. With its four interconnected buildings, it is the third largest convention center in the world. Chicago also ranks third in the U.S. (behind Las Vegas and Orlando) in number of conventions hosted annually. In addition, Chicago is home to eleven Fortune 500 companies, while the metropolitan area hosts an additional 21 Fortune 500 companies. The state of Illinois is home to 66 Fortune 1000 companies. Chicago also hosts 12 Fortune Global 500 companies and 17 Financial Times 500 companies. The city claims one Dow 30 company as well: aerospace giant Boeing, which moved its headquarters from Seattle to the Chicago Loop in 2001.
Illinois Secretary of State Sharon Tyndale spearheaded the drive to create the third and present state seal. In 1867, he asked State Senator Allen C. Fuller to introduce legislation requiring a new seal. Tyndale originally planned to reverse the words of the state motto "State Sovereignty, National Union" in light of the American Civil War, but a bill was passed on March 7, 1867, keeping the original wording. Tyndale, however, was entrusted with designing it.
The seal features an eagle pitched on a rock carrying a shield in its talons and a banner with the state motto in its beak. It closely resembles the flag of Mexico, which depicts an eagle with a snake in its mouth. Thirteen stars and thirteen stripes on the shield represent the original thirteen states of the Union. Tyndale's desire to change the wording of the motto are still reflected with the original wording, with "State Sovereignty" placed below "National Union" with "Sovereignty" upside down, decreasing its readability. The date August 26, 1818, when Illinois's first constitution was adopted in Kaskaskia, appears along the bottom arc of the circle, and 1818, the year of statehood, displays on the seal below 1868, the year the current seal was adopted. This basic design has survived through several modifications since it was first conceived. The Illinois Secretary of State is still the keeper of the Great Seal of the State of Illinois.
In the 1960s, Chief Petty Officer Bruce McDaniel petitioned to have the name of the state added to the flag. He noted that many of the people he served with during the Vietnam War did not recognize the banner. Governor Richard B. Ogilvie signed the addition to the flag into law on September 17, 1969 and the new flag was designed by Mrs. Sanford Hutchinson and became the official flag on July 1, 1970.
The current flag depicts the Great Seal of Illinois, which was originally designed in 1819 and emulated the Great Seal of the United States. In the eagle's beak there is a banner with the state motto, "State Sovereignty, National Union." The dates on the seal, 1818 and 1868 represent the year Illinois became a state and the year in which the Great Seal was redesigned by Sharon Tyndale. Although "State Sovereignty" comes first in the motto, Illinois was recently victorious American Civil War on the Union side, fighting against state sovereignty, so Tyndale placed "State" at the bottom and "Sovereignty" upside-down.