The mystery and history of ZTA chapter flags

One of the most visually impressive events that happens at a ZTA Convention is the parade of flags that opens the first Business Meeting. Every chapter ZTA has ever chartered is represented. Watching collegians and alumnae carry 257 flags past the convention body is a sight you’ll never forget, and being able to pose with your chapter’s flag at Convention, Zeta Day or ELA is always an Instagrammable moment!

But when you see the flags, some of them might make you think, “Hey, that’s not the right name for my school!” There’s a story behind how the chapter flags (and their names) came to be a ZTA tradition.

For the Centennial Convention in Virginia in 1998, the Centennial Planning Committee wanted to create a stunning visual representation of the Fraternity’s history. The committee decided to create a flag for every chapter ZTA had ever installed, regardless of whether the chapter was active or dormant. National Council and the Centennial Planning Committee decided every flag would feature the name of the school as it appeared in 1998.

For example, Missouri University of Science and Technology (Eta Theta Chapter) was University of Missouri-Rolla, and Texas State University (Theta Psi Chapter) was Southwest Texas State University in 1998. Following the committee’s guidelines, the former university names appear on the flags to this day.

For chapters installed after 1998, the chapter flag bears the name of the university at the time of the chapter’s installation. For example, ZTA installed Kappa Upsilon Chapter at Georgia College & State University in 2004. The school has since changed its name to Georgia College, but the university name on Kappa Upsilon’s chapter flag remains true to the time of its chartering.

Just like the links in our Chain of Chapters, a chapter’s flag is never removed from the flag processional, as a reminder of the sisterhood shared on those campuses. Watching hundreds of flags parade in and form a wall of turquoise around the perimeter of the meeting room is a breathtaking experience we hope to see again soon.

For this week’s Zeta Day activities, we’ve created graphics of every chapter’s flag; so even though we aren’t all together, you can raise your virtual flag high and represent the chapter that made you a ZTA!

Download your Zeta Day themed chapter flag image

Learn more about virtual Zeta Day

Outstanding Alumna

Learn more about previous Outstanding Alumna recipients

Learn more