Decoding the “W”: What Does the “W” Mean for the Chicago Cubs?

Frank Jones

In the heart of Wrigleyville, an iconic symbol has become synonymous with joy, triumph, and unyielding loyalty—the “W” flag. Fluttering high above the historic Wrigley Field, this simple letter carries a profound significance for the Chicago Cubs and their passionate fan base. 

But what does the “W” mean for the Chicago Cubs? Let’s dive into the rich history and meaning behind the “W” for the Chicago Cubs.

What Does the “W” Mean for the Chicago Cubs?

For Cubs fans, the “W” transcends its literal representation of a win. It embodies a resilient spirit, an unwavering commitment to the team, and a celebration of the collective journey. 

Inner Meaning

The “W” flag is a rallying cry, a visual proclamation of triumph over adversity, and a reminder that victory is attainable. 

Its presence in the Chicago skyline after a Cubs win serves as a beacon of hope and pride, igniting a sense of community among fans and uniting them in their unwavering support.

The Curse Reversed

The meaning of the “W” took on even greater significance during the Cubs’ historic 2016 season. For over a century, the Cubs endured a “curse,” famously known as the “Curse of the Billy Goat,” which prevented them from winning a World Series title. 

The “W” became a symbol of defiance against the curse, and as the team advanced through the playoffs, fans proudly displayed the flag to signify their belief that this time, the curse would be broken.

When the Cubs finally clinched the World Series championship in 2016, the sight of the “W” flag flying triumphantly at Wrigley Field represented the culmination of generations of loyalty, resilience, and hope. It signified the end of a drought and the beginning of a new era for the team and its fans.

Beyond Baseball

The power of the “W” extends beyond the confines of the baseball diamond. It has become a symbol of Chicago’s rich sports culture and an embodiment of the city’s indomitable spirit. 

The “W” flag serves as a rallying point for the entire city, unifying fans across all walks of life and inspiring them to embrace the values of perseverance, unity, and unwavering support.

How Did the Tradition Start?

The tradition of using flags to signify wins and losses in baseball dates back to the late 19th century. However, the specific use of the “W” flag by the Chicago Cubs originated in the 1930s.

During the 1937 season, a blue flag with a white “W” and a white flag with a blue “L” were introduced as a visual representation of wins and losses, respectively.

The flags were raised on a flagpole located above the scoreboard at Wrigley Field to communicate the outcome of the game to fans both inside and outside the stadium.

The idea behind the “W” flag was to create a clear and easily recognizable symbol for a victory. The flag system quickly gained popularity among Cubs fans and became a cherished tradition at Wrigley Field.

Over the years, the “W” flag has become deeply ingrained in Cubs culture and serves as a source of pride and celebration for the team and its supporters.

Today, the tradition continues, and the “W” flag is flown high above Wrigley Field after each home win, proudly signaling the Cubs’ success to fans near and far.

The History of the Chicago Cubs W Flag over Wrigley Field

The History of the Chicago Cubs W Flag over Wrigley Field

Source: 12news

The history of the Chicago Cubs’ “W” flag flying over Wrigley Field is closely tied to the team’s tradition and the deep-rooted passion of Cubs fans. The “W” flag’s journey spans several decades and is intertwined with the ups and downs of the Cubs’ fortunes.

The tradition of raising flags at Wrigley Field to signify game outcomes began in the early 20th century. Initially, a variety of flags, including colored flags and flags with different letters, were used to communicate wins and losses. 

However, it wasn’t until the 1937 season that the iconic blue flag with a white “W” and white flag with a blue “L” were introduced.

The specific design of the “W” flag quickly gained popularity among Cubs fans. It provided a clear visual representation of victory and became a powerful symbol of hope and celebration. 

The flag system allowed fans both inside and outside the stadium to instantly recognize the outcome of the game and share in the excitement.

As the years went by, the “W” flag’s significance grew, becoming an integral part of Cubs culture. Fans embraced the tradition and the flag became a focal point of celebration and unity. The sight of the “W” flag flying high above Wrigley Field after a Cubs win became a symbol of collective joy and optimism.

However, it’s important to note that the Cubs’ success wasn’t always accompanied by the sight of the “W” flag. The team experienced a prolonged championship drought, enduring a string of disappointing seasons. 

This period of adversity led to a heightened sense of longing among fans and increased the emotional weight carried by the “W” flag.

The turning point came in 2016, when the Cubs achieved a historic World Series victory, breaking a 108-year championship drought. The sight of the “W” flag flying triumphantly at Wrigley Field following that final victory remains one of the most memorable moments in Cubs’ history.

 It represented the ultimate fulfillment of hope, the end of a long journey, and the beginning of a new era for the team and its fans.

Today, the “W” flag continues to be an enduring symbol for the Chicago Cubs and their devoted fan base. It serves as a reminder of the team’s rich history, the passion of the fans, and the collective pursuit of victory.

 The sight of the “W” flag flying over Wrigley Field remains a source of pride, joy, and inspiration for Cubs fans everywhere, symbolizing the enduring spirit of the team and its loyal supporters.

Why Is the Tradition Changing?

The traditions of flying particular flags can evolve and change over time for various reasons. If there are any changes happening to the tradition of the “W” flag at Wrigley Field for the Chicago Cubs, it could be due to a combination of factors:

Organizational Decisions

The Chicago Cubs organization may decide to modify certain traditions to enhance the fan experience or adapt to evolving trends. Changes could be made to refresh or modernize traditions while still honoring the team’s history and values.

Fan Input and Engagement

The input and preferences of fans play a crucial role in shaping team traditions. Fan feedback, surveys, or focus groups may lead to adjustments or updates to ensure the traditions resonate with the current fan base.

External Factors

Changes in external factors, such as regulations, safety protocols, or logistical considerations, could influence the continuation or modification of traditions. The need to adhere to new guidelines or accommodate evolving circumstances may prompt adjustments to existing traditions.

Cultural Shifts

Societal and cultural changes can also impact traditions. As attitudes and preferences evolve over time, teams may adapt their traditions to align with contemporary values or to cater to the interests of a broader and more diverse fan base.

Experimentation and Innovation

Organizations sometimes explore new ways to engage fans and create unique experiences. This could involve experimenting with different traditions, incorporating new technology, or introducing fresh elements to enhance the fan experience.

It’s important to note that traditions often retain their core elements while adapting to new circumstances or fan expectations.

The extent and nature of any changes to the tradition of the “W” flag, if occurring, would depend on specific factors and the decisions made by the Chicago Cubs organization in collaboration with their fan community.

Do Other Teams Fly the “W” Flag?

The specific use of the “W” flag as a symbol for victory is unique to the Chicago Cubs and their fan base. While other teams may have their own traditions to celebrate wins, the “W” flag and its significance are closely associated with the Cubs.

That being said, various sports teams and fan bases across different sports and leagues have their own distinct traditions and symbols to mark victories.

These traditions can vary widely, from ringing bells or sounding horns to raising specific flags, playing victory songs, or performing unique celebrations. These traditions are often deeply rooted in the history and culture of each team and its fan base.

So, while other teams may have their own ways of celebrating wins, the “W” flag and its association with the Chicago Cubs remain a special and significant tradition within the context of the Cubs’ history and fan community.


Why is the “W” flag used by the Chicago Cubs?

The “W” flag is used by the Chicago Cubs to symbolize a victory or win. It has been a tradition since the early 20th century, with a blue flag displaying a white “W” being raised above Wrigley Field after a home win. It serves as a visual representation of success and a source of pride for both the team and its passionate fan base.

Is the “W” flag unique to the Chicago Cubs?

While other baseball teams and sports franchises may use flags or symbols to denote wins and losses, the specific design and significance of the “W” flag are unique to the Chicago Cubs. The flag has become an iconic symbol associated with the team and holds deep cultural and historical meaning for Cubs fans.

What is the significance of the 2016 season in relation to the “W” flag?

The 2016 season holds immense significance for the Chicago Cubs and their fans. It was the year the team finally ended a 108-year championship drought by winning the World Series.

Do fans use the “W” flag outside of Wrigley Field?

Yes, Cubs fans often display the “W” flag outside of Wrigley Field. It has become a common sight in the streets of Chicago, particularly during the baseball season and after Cubs victories.

Has the meaning of the “W” flag changed over time?

While the fundamental meaning of the “W” flag as a symbol of victory has remained consistent over time, its significance has evolved and deepened with the team’s history. The flag has come to represent the enduring spirit and resilience of Cubs fans.

Final Words

That was all about what does the “W” mean for the Chicago Cubs. The “W” flag has become an integral part of the Chicago Cubs’ identity, representing more than just wins on the field.

It signifies the enduring spirit of Cubs fans, their unwavering support for the team, and their collective journey through triumphs and challenges.

Through the highs and lows, the “W” remains a symbol of hope, resilience, and the unbreakable bond between the Cubs and their devoted fan base. 

Whether waving high above Wrigley Field or displayed proudly in the homes and hearts of Cubs fans, the “W” continues to inspire and unite, embodying the enduring legacy of the Chicago Cubs.