The design was selected in 1895 from a contest and then in traditional expeditious Cincinnati style, it was adopted officially 45 years later in 1940.
Then everyone forgot about it.
I never thought I'd stood in the presence of the Grand Old Flag of Cincinnati, but then I remembered something and found this photo from a visit to Yeatman's Cove. In the picture below, behind me and over my right shoulder it waves proudly next to the Ohio flag. I thought it was just some boat flag at the time since I was by the river.
Basically the flag design is the city seal seal sans 1788 on a red C (say fast 5 times!) with blue squiggly lines in the background representing the Ohio River.1788 is the agreed upon year that the area that is now the city of Cincinnati was founded but no one called it "Cincinnati" until 1790 and it wasn't incorporated as a city until 1819. Confusing? Yeah, that's probably why they left it off.
It looks like they added some Buckeye leaves at the top for decoration too. The Latin "Juncta Juvant" within the seal translates to something akin to "come for the goetta, stay for the cheese coneys!". Oh, I kid, it means "strength in unity". Sure.
“When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it’s always 20 years behind the times.”
Please read my other flag related post when you have time. Thank you and "Juncta Juvant" to you!