Red Wing is home of Red Wing Shoes, Riedell Ice and Roller Skates and Red Wing Stoneware. The Cannon Valley Trail has its eastern terminus in Red Wing. Treasure Island Resort & Casino is on the nearby Prairie Island Indian Reservation. The National Trust for Historic Preservation placed Red Wing on its 2008 distinctive destinations list, which adds twelve communities annually nationwide. Red Wing was added for its "impressive architecture and enviable natural environment." Red Wing is connected to Wisconsin by Red Wing Bridge (officially named the Eisenhower Bridge); it carries U.S. Route 63 over the Mississippi River and its backwaters.
This city was named after the Sioux chief, Red Wing. He was one of a succession of Mdewakanton Dakota chiefs whose name "Red Wing" came from their use of a dyed swan's wing as their symbol of rank. His Sioux name was Hupahuduta ("Wing of the Wild Swan Dyed Red"). He was an ally of British soldiers during the War of 1812, but after a vision where he saw the Americans driving out the British, he took a stance of neutrality. He later was known as L'Aile Rouge, by the French Canadians, and later still took the name Shakea, or "The Man Who Paints Himself Red" after passing the name Red Wing on to a successor. During his lifetime, there were few pioneers, and Red Wing was known as a firm friend of the United States, keeping peace with the settlers and trading for goods that were valued by his tribe.