District of Columbia Flags

Flag of Washington, D.C.

The District of Columbia may not be a state, but there is still a Flag of District of Columbia. The flag of Washington D.C. draws very heavily on the traditional heraldry of Britain, which makes it stand out from the vast majority of state flags in the United States. That uniqueness has helped to make it popular, and the American Vexillological Association even found that it was the best city flag in the United States of America.

Colors and Symbolism of the Flag of Washington, D.C.

The flag of Washington D.C. consists of four horizontal stripes that alternate between white and red. The uppermost stripe is thicker than the others and contains a line of three red stars. The design came from the coat of arms of George Washington, the first president of the United States of America. The pattern has been used to identify the Washington family since the 12th century, when the family rose to prominence in Country Durham, England. The design is the embodiment of the respect that the people of Washington D.C. have for their nation's first president.

History of the Flag of District of Columbia

The flag of District of Columbia first came into use in 1938. The city had previously represented itself with the national flag of the United States, which was supplemented by the flags of the Washington D.C. National Guard units when the local citizens needed a more distinctive flag. Those flags were not authorized as official symbols by the local government, but many people used them in an official capacity. 

After the government of Washington D.C. decided to adopt a unique flag, it opted to hold a contest to pick the design. Charles A. R. Dunn created the winning entry, although he had created the design and initially submitted it as a potential flag more than a decade before the competition took place. 

The flag of Washington D.C. has never changed, but a major attempt to alter the design did take place in 2002. A proposal to add the phrase "Taxation Without Representation" to the flag passed with a large majority, but the mayor of Washington D.C. never signed the bill into law.

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