You've driven by it a million times. You've probably been to a concert or two. But do you know why it's called the "Five Flags Center," and which flags it includes?

The Five Flags Theater at 405 Main Street was built way back in 1840 and once served as a city hotel. It was torn down and rebuilt, then later burned down and was rebuilt again.

At one time it was also a movie theater called the Orpheum.

In 1979, the Five Flags Arena was built and opened next door to the theater. Dubuque trivia buffs will know that the first concert ever held there was a show featuring the late comedian and actor Bob Hope.

But how the heck did it get the name Five Flags?

The name represents the five flags that have flown over Dubuque.

The five flags that fly over the Five Flags Center
The five flags that fly over the Five Flags Center.


They include the Fleur de Lis of the Bourbon kings of France, which flew over Dubuque from 1673 to 1763.

There's the Royal Flag of Spain, which also represented Dubuque from 1763 to 1803.

Then came the French Republic Flag of Napoleon which flew over the city through the early 1800s, before the Union Jack of Great Britain took its place.

Finally, America’s Stars and Stripes were hoisted as the United States gained control of Dubuque through the Louisiana Purchase. (You'll notice the fifteen stars and fifteen stripes, one for each of the states.)

So the next time you take in a show you'll be able to impress your friends with your great knowledge of the Five Flags Center.


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