PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
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Seal


Description/Blazon
1. It is claimed that at the time the seal of the United States was adopted (1776) the Continental Congress ordered that the President of that body have a token of authority in the shape of a small shield. It was a small oval, about an inch in length, the center of blue, charged with thirteen six-pointed stars, arranged to form a six-pointed star, all surrounded with clouds and a scalloped edge. An impression of this seal appeared on a letter written by Thomas Mifflin to the President of the Continental Congress.
2. It is probably that the seal of the President of the Continental Congress was not drafted nor used until long in 1783-84. The seal was used by all of the Presidents of the Continental Congresses. The first Continental Congress met in 1774 ? the first United States Congress in 1789.
3. Mr. Wendover wrote to Captain Reid on February 13, 1817, referring to a national standard composed of the emblematic representations of our escutcheon quartered upon it: viz., the stars, white, on a white field under the stars; the eagle in the upper right-hand quarter or fly of the standard on a white field; and the thirteen alternate stripes of red and white under the eagle; which, however, was not adopted. He proposed that this standard be hoisted over the halls of Congress, at our Navy yards and arsenals, and at other public places visited by the President of the United States, during his presence.
4. The first record in regulations prescribing a flag for the President of the United States appeared in the Navy Regulations of April 18, 1865. Paragraph 52 prescribed that "When the President shall reach the deck the flag or pennant usually worn shall be struck and the American ensign displayed at the main."
5. In conformity with the act of Congress passed on April 4, 1818, the national ensign had thirty-five stars in the union. The act is quoted in part as follows:
"Sec. 1. Be it enacted, etc., That from and after the fourth day of July next the flag of the United States be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white; that the union have twenty stars, white, on a blue field."
"Sec. 2. And be it further enacted "That on the admission of every new State into the Union one star be added to the union of the flag, and that such addition shall take effect on the 4th of July next succeeding such admission."
6. The national flag was used until 1866, when the Naval Signal Code of 1866 issued by the Bureau of Navigation authorized the "Union flag ? to be hoisted at the main of vessels and in the bow of boats when the President of the United States is on board." Apparently the Naval Signal Code of 1866 was not printed nor completed until after July 4, 1867, for it illustrates a jack with thirty-seven stars. Nebraska was added to the Union on March 1, 1867, and the national ensign did not get the 37th star until July 4, 1867.
7. Article 54 of the United States Naval Signal Code of 1867 reads: "The Union flag will be hoisted at the main royal masthead of a vessel of war, or tender of the Navy, while the President of the United States is on board, and it will be carried at the bows of a boat belonging to any vessel of the Navy in which the President of the United States is for the time being embarked."
8. The Naval Signal Code of 1869 issued by the Bureau of Navigation changed back to the national ensign. This Code prescribed the flag as the national flag and the method of hoisting as the same as prescribed in the Naval Signal Code of 1866.
9. The following letter from the Bureau of Navigation, Washington, December 31, 1869, to officers commanding squadrons, is quoted:
"Sir:
By direction of the Secretary of the Navy the following instructions are
promulgated: When the President shall visit a ship of war of the United
States, the ensign shall be hoisted at the main when coming on board and
hauled down at his departure. It is also to be hoisted in the bow of the
boat in which he embarks.***
Very respectfully yours,
Your obedient servant,
James Alden,
Chief of Bureau."
10. The United States Naval Regulations of 1870, paragraph 655, prescribed in more detail when the national flag was to be displayed and is as follows: "When the President reaches the deck the national flag shall be displayed at the main and kept there so long as he remains on board.***"
11. The Naval Signal Code of 1876, issued by the Bureau of Navigation, made no change from the Code of 1869.
12. Colorado was added to the Union on August 1, 1876, and the thirty-eighth star was added to the Union on July 4, 1877.
13. A foot-note appearing in the Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine of June 1920, page 342, indicates the first time the President's personal seal appeared on White House invitations. However, the description or blazon as originally approved has not been located.
14. The next change was a decided one, which was established by the Navy Department in General Orders No. 300 on August 9, 1882, which reads:
"The flag of the President of the United States shall consist of a blue ground with arms of the United States in the center, and shall be of the dimensions prescribed for the admiral's flag," No. 1.
"The flag shall be hoisted at the main of vessels of war while the President is on board, and shall be carried in the bow of his boat.
William E. Chandler,
Secretary of the Navy"
15. The coat of arms of the United States, adopted by Act of Congress on June 20, 1782, is as follows:
"ARMS: Paleways of 13 pieces, Argent and Gules, a chief Azure, the escutcheon on the breast of the American eagle displayed Proper, holding in his dexter talon an olive branch, and in his sinister a bundle of 13 arrows, all Proper, and in his beak a scroll inscribed with this motto: "E Pluribus Unum."
"FOR THE CREST: Over the head of the eagle, which appears above the escutcheon, a glory Or, breaking through a cloud Proper, and surrounding 13 stars forming a constellation Argent on an Azure field."
16. The size of an Admiral's flag No. 1, as established, was 10.20 feet hoist by 14.40 feet fly.
17. The illustration appearing in the "Flags of Maritime Nations," 1882, does not conform to the blazon of the coat of arms as quoted above. It will be observed that the shield is paleways of 13 pieces, Gules and Argent, that is, seven red and six white stripes, and the chief has been charged with mullets. The crest was apparently omitted, but in semi-circular form above the head of the eagle appears 13 white stars.
18. It is interesting to note that for thirty-three years a flag for the President was prescribed by the Navy Department before any provision was made by the War Department. The first order in the War Department prescribed a flag of a different size and an entirely different design than that prescribed by the Navy Department, which appeared as General Orders No. 13, issued under date of March 28, 1898, as follows:
By direction of the Secretary of War, the following paragraphs are added to the Regulations, viz:
212a. The flag of the President shall be of scarlet bunting, measuring 13 feet fly and 8 feet hoist, having a hem on the hoist 3 inches wide and provided with an eyelet at each end for hoisting and lowering. In each of the four corners shall be a five-pointed white star with one point upward. The points of these stars lie in the circumference of an imaginary circle of 5 inches radius. The centers of these imaginary circles, which coincide with the centers of these stars are 18 inches from the short sides and 14 inches from the long sides of the flag. In the center of the flag shall be a large fifth star, also of five points, which lie in the circumference of an imaginary circle of 2 feet 9 inches radius. The center of this circle is the point of intersection of the diagonals of the flag. The re-entering angles of this large star lie in the circumference of an imaginary circle of 16 inches radius, with the same center as before. Inside of the star thus outlined is a parallel star, separated from it by a band of white 3 inches wide. This inner star forms a blue field upon which is the official coat of arms of the United States as determined by the State Department, the device being located by placing the middle point of the line dividing the chief from the paleways of the escutcheon upon the point of intersection of the diagonals of the flag, and thus coinciding with the center of the large center star. On the scarlet field around the large star are other white stars, one for each State, equally scattered in the re-entering angles, and all included within the circumference of a circle of 3 feet 3 inches radius, whose center is the center of the large star.
By command of Major General Wiles:
H.C. CORBIN
Adjutant General
19. By reference to the law cited in paragraph 5, it will be observed that the national flag contained forty-five stars when this order was written. Utah was added to the Union on January 4, 1896 and the forty-fifth star was added to the national flag on July 4, 1896.
20. The first color prescribed for an individual by the War Department was for the Secretary of War on March 3, 1897. The second color prescribed was for the President, which was authorized in the same General Order and under the same date as the flag for the President o the United States as authorized by the War Department, which is quoted as follows:
"Colors.
For the President.
214b. Of scarlet silk, 6 feet 6 inches fly and 4 feet on the pike, which shall be 10 feet long, including ferrule and head. The head shall consist of a globe, 3 inches in diameter, surmounted by an American eagle, alert, 4 inches high. In each of the four corners shall be a five pointed white star. The points of these stars lie in the circumference of an imaginary circle of 2 ½ inches radius. The centers of these imaginary circles, which coincide with the centers of these stars, are 9 inches from the short sides and 7 inches from the long sides of the color. In the center of the color shall be a large fifth star, also of five points, which lie in the circumference of an imaginary circle of 16 ½ inches radius. The center of this circle is the point of intersection of the diagonals of the color. The re-entering angles of this large star lie in the circumference of an imaginary circle of 8 inches radius, with the same center as before. Inside of the star thus outlined is a parallel star, separated from it by a band of white 1 ½ inches wide. This inner star forms a blue field, upon which is the official coat of arms of the United States as determined by the State Department, the device being located by placing the middle point of the line dividing the chief from the paleways of the escutcheon upon the point of intersection of the diagonals of the color, and thus coinciding with the center of the large center star. On the scarlet field around the large star are other white stars, one for each State, equally scattered in the re-entering angles and all included within the circumference of a circle of 19 ½ inches radius, whose center is the center of the large star. The design, letters, figures and stars are to be embroidered in silk, the same on both sides of the colors. The edges of the color are to be trimmed with knotted fringe, of silver and gold, 3 inches wide, and one cord (having two tassels) 8 feet 6 inches long and made of red, white and blue silk intermixed."
21. Paragraph 233 of United States Army Regulations, 1901, with appendix to June 30, 1902, prescribing the flag of the President, coincides with paragraph 212a published in General Orders No. 13 of 1898. Paragraph 234 of the same regulations, prescribing the colors of the President, coincides with paragraph 214b published in General Orders No. 13, 1898.
22. The following memorandum is of interest:
"November 14, 1901."
"Memorandum of information for the Chief of Bureau of Equipment,
through Bureau of Navigation."

"In each of the following countries a single standard has been adopted to be used by the crowned heads and in nearly every instance these flags contain the coat of arms of the country or some modified form thereof:
Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Japan, Montenegro,
Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Siam, Spain, Sweden and
Turkey.
"The Republic of Argentine, Chile, France and Peru, have also prescribed standards for the Presidents of those countries, and these, likewise, with the exception of France, contain the coat of arms of the country. The design adopted for the President of the United States is, therefore, in accordance with the custom in vogue in other countries,***. The existence of more than one standard for the President of the United States would lead to confusion among foreign nations in firing salutes and rendering honors to the President, and in March 1901, the German Naval attaché in Washington applied to the Office of the Naval Intelligence, Navy Department, for information for his government as to the use of two standards for the President of the United States, a condition hitherto unknown abroad.
"The circumstances were reported to the Navy Department by the Bureau of Navigation (Office of Naval Intelligence) and by the Secretary of the Navy to the President, and on November 2, 1901, by direction of the Secretary of the Navy, the Chief Intelligence Officer, Captain C.D. Sigsbee, U.S.N., and Lieutenant S.E.W. Kittelle, U.S.N., were directed to accompany the Secretary of the Navy to the White House where the question of two President's standards, which had previously been brought to the attention of the President and Secretary of War, was discussed and the circumstance explained to President Roosevelt.***
C.D. Sigsbee,
Captain, U.S. Navy,
Chief Intelligence Officer."
23. The following letter was the result of the conference with the President:
Washington
November 12, 1901.
"My dear Sir:
After careful consideration, the President is of the opinion that there should be but one personal flag for the President, and as the Naval flag is the older, he directs that that be retained as such.
Very truly yours,

Geo. B. Cortelyou,

Secretary to the President.
Hon. John D. Long,
Secretary of the Navy."
24. In General Orders No. 99, War Department, September 4, 1902, appears the first regulation regarding the use of the President's flag in the Army Transport Service, which is as follows:
"1. By direction of the Acting Secretary of War, paragraph 157 of the Regulations for the Army Transport Service, approved May 5, 1900, is amended to read as follows:
"157. The Army Transport flag should be hoisted only at the main truck. Whenever the President,?. shall be aboard, the Army Transport flag should be hauled down and the President's?. flag displayed at the main."
25. The next change made by the War Department appeared as General Orders No. 30, under date of March 12, 1902, which reads as follows:
"By direction of the Secretary of War, paragraphs 233 and 234 of the regulations are amended to read as follows:
"233. The flag of the President shall consist of a blue ground with the official coat of arms of the United States as determined by the State Department in the center, and shall be of the dimensions prescribed for the admiral's flag No. 1, 10.20 feet hoist, 14.40 feet fly.
"Headquarters Flag
"234. The Headquarters Flag of the President shall be of scarlet silk, 6 feet 6 inches fly and 4 feet on the pike?
By command of Lieutenant General Miles:
W.P. HALL,
Acting Adjutant General.
The remainder of paragraph 234 quoted above coincides with paragraph 234, Army Regulations, 1901, and paragraph 214b, published in General Orders No. 13, 1898. In accordance with the above, the colors of the President of the United States assumed the name of Headquarters Flag. Paragraph 233 of the regulations was apparently the first action towards standardizing the flag of the President of the United States, by making the flag authorized by the War Department conform to that authorized by the Navy Department, in accordance with the letter of November 12, 1901, from the White House.
26. Senate Document No. 197 of the 57th Congress, 2d Session, titled "Restoration of the White House ? Message of the President of the United States transmitting the Report of the Architects," is quoted in part as follows:
"Directly beneath the lantern, the President's seal appears in yellow bronze inlaid in the stone floor, and the pavement between the central columns carries in bronze the dates 1792-1902, inscribed in an ellipse of forty-five stars."
27. United States Army Regulations with amendments to December 31, 1905, prescribe in paragraph 214 the flag of the President, and in paragraph 215 the colors of the President. The wording of these paragraphs were slightly changed from the former regulations, but no change was made in the actual flag and colors.
28. United States Army Regulations of 1908 prescribed in paragraph 215 and 216 the flag and colors of the President, but made no change from paragraphs 214 and 215 of Army Regulations of 1905.
29. War Department General Orders No. 237, dated November 29, 1909, changed the dimensions of the pike and head for the colors of the President, as follows: "The colors of the President shall be of scarlet silk, 6 feet 6 inches fly, and 4 feet on the pike, which shall be 11 feet long, including the ferrule and head. The head shall consist of a glove, 2 inches in diameter, surmounted by an American eagle, alert 5 3/8 inches high?"
30. Oklahoma was added to the Union on November 16, 1907, which added another star to the national flag on July 4, 1908.
31. The War Department, Office of the Quartermaster General, on October 4, 1909, published an unnumbered memorandum called "Stars and Stripes," in which was included the following information regarding flags furnished by the Quartermaster's Department:
"Army Regulations provide for the President of the United States a silken color six (6) feet six (6) inches fly and four (4) feet on the pike ten (10) feet long. The head to consist of a globe three (3) inches in diameter, surmounted by an American eagle alert about four (4) inches high.
"A five-pointed white star in each of the four corners, one point upward; in the center of the color is placed a large fifth star, also of five points; inside of this large star is placed a parallel star, separated from it by a band of white one and one-half (1 ½) inches wide.
"This inner star forms a blue field upon which is placed the official coat of arms of the United States.
"There is also provided a flag of blue bunting, to be attached to halliards fourteen and forty-one-hundredths (14.40) feet fly and ten and twenty-one hundredths (10.20) feet hoist, bearing in the center the official coat of arms of the United States.
"A launch flag, made of blue bunting, three and six-tenths (3.6) feet hoist, by five and thirteen one-hundredths (5.13) feet fly, made of blue bunting, and bearing in the center the official coat of arms of the United States, is also provided."
32. New Mexico was added to the Union on January 6, 1912 and Arizona on February 14, 1912, thus adding two more stars to the union of the national flag, making forty-eight stars on the flag on July 4, 1912.
33. The following is a memorandum explaining the addition of the two stars to the President's flag as a result of the entrance into the Union of the two States indicated in paragraph 32, the addition apparently being made without reference to Executive Order No. 2390.
"WAR DEPARTMENT
Office of The Quartermaster General
Washington
MEMORANDUM TO THE CHIEF OF STAFF (367428), May 13, 1920.
"1. Owing to the admission of the territories of New Mexico and Arizona as states into the Union, it will be necessary to add two additional stars to the constellation of stars in the field of the silken colors of the President of the United States.
"2. I submit herewith an illustration of the color in use at the present time, with two additional stars added, and recommend that authority be obtained from the Secretary of War to alter the existing colors in conformity therewith.
J.B. ALESHIRE,
Quartermaster General, U.S. Army.
S-CE E;JM
2 Encl.
Stamped Approved
By order of the Secretary of War:
(Signed) LEONARD WOOD
Major General,
Chief of Staff."
34. A Flag Board was appointed by the President in 1912, and the following is an extract from their report in regard to the President's color and flag:
"NAVY DEPARTMENT
WASHINGTON
June 4, 1912.
FROM: Flag Board.
TO: The Secretary of the Navy.
"The board composed of representatives from each of the nine departments of the Government designated by the Secretary of the respective department, having considered the subject of standard dimensions for the national flag and union jack, recommends as follows:
"8. The President's Flag: The attention of the board has been called to the fact that there are two official flags (Army and Navy) for the President of the United States. These flags are identical as to design, the difference being in the color of the field, which is, for the Army red, and for the Navy blue. Following the customs of all other nations, it is recommended that one flag be adopted for use of the President.
(Signed)
W.F. Halsey, Capt., U.S.N., Red., Rep. for Navy Dept.
F.G. Hodgson, Col. & Asst. QMG, U.S.A., Rep. for War Dept.
L.T. Cutter, Representative for Treasury Department.
Wm. McNeir, Representative for State Department.
Amos Hadley, Representative for Interior Department.
James B. Cook, Representative for Post Office Department.
R.L. Faris, Representative for Commerce & Labor Dept.
C.R. Sherwood, Representative for Department of Justice.
C.C. Clark, Representative for Department of Agriculture.
35. By Executive Order No. 1556, dated June 24, 1912, President William H. Taft ordered the color of the field of the President's flag shall be blue.
36. Executive Order No. 1556, dated June 24, 1912, appeared in War Department Bulletin No. 11 under date of July 6, 1912.
37. Executive Order No. 1637, dated October 29, 1912, published the information that Executive Order No. 1556 was revoked, but no change was made relative to the President's flag ? War Department Bulletin No. 23, dated December 3, 1912, published this information.
38. War Department Circular No. 5, issued by the Office of the Chief, Quartermaster Corps, Washington, February 20, 1913, changed the colors of the President's flag to blue.
39. The first record in the Navy Department indicating that the adoption of the four corner stars on the President's flag similar to that authorized by the War Department appears in letter of February 7, 1916, addressed to the Industrial Manager, New York, which is quoted in part as follows:
* * * * * * * * * * *
"2. Please prepare a new tracing of the President's Flag to be in strict accordance with the sample President's Flag as manufactured and forward same, together with the sample flag, to the Bureau at the earliest possible date.
"3. It is the intention of the Bureau to incorporate a cut from this tracing into a draft of a propose Executive Order, to be issued establishing a standard President's Flag for use by all Government Departments. Great care should, therefore, be exercised to see that the plan is in strict accordance with the flag as manufactured.
"4. It has been decided to add four stars to the President's Flag; one in each corner of the blue field. The (white) stars will be 5-pointed, and will point upward. These stars should be shown on the plan with dimensions giving their size, and horizontal and vertical distances of the centers of the circumscribed circles from the edges of the Flag.
Signed TAYLOR."
This is apparently the order for making the manufacturing drawing for the flag illustrated in Executive Order No. 2390. The flag in use by the Navy Department conformed.
40. The last Executive Order relative to the President's Flag was contained in part in Executive Order No. 2390, which is as follows:
"The Executive Order of October 29, 1912 is hereby revoke, and for it substituting the following:
* * * * * * * * * * *
"President's Flag: The President's flag shall be in accordance with the plan accompanying and forming a part of this order, in case sizes are needed other than the two sizes shown on the plan, they shall be manufactured in the same proportions as those shown.
(Signed) WOODROW WILSON
The White House,
29 May 1916."
41. The above Executive Order was printed as War Department Bulletin No. 23 of 1912, but did not include the plan referred to. War Department Bulletin No. 54, rescinding Bulletin No. 23 of 1912, was then published under date of December 5, 1916.
42. The same Executive Order, No. 2390, appeared in the Navy Department as General Orders No. 257, dated January 2, 1917 as follows:
* * * * * * * * * * *
"5. The new design of the President's flag referred to in Executive Order consists of a blue field with four white stars, one in each corner, similar to the admiral's flag, and in the center a white spread eagle with red, white and blue shield on the body, the design being very similar to the seal of the United States. This spread-eagle design is based upon the seal which has been used in The White House for many years as the personal seal of the President.
JOSEPHUS DANIELS,
Secretary of the Navy."
43. The reference to the admiral's flag in paragraph 5 of the above quoted order is in error, as the stars appearing on the admiral's flag are not placed one in each corner, but are placed two on the horizontal center line and two on the vertical center line of the flag as though on the corner extremities of an imaginary diamond or lozenge.
44. Army Regulations of 1913, corrected to 1917, paragraphs 217 and 218, are quoted as follows:
"217. The flag of the President will be of blue bunting, of two sizes, the larger measuring 10.2 feet hoist and 16 feet fly, and the smaller measuring 3.6 feet hoist and 5.13 feet fly. In each of the four corners of the flag will be a five-pointed white star with one point upward, and the flag itself will bear the coat of arms conforming to the plan accompanying the Executive Order of the President of the United States of May 29, 1916. In case other sizes are needed, they will be manufactured in the same proportions as shown in the plan accompanying the Executive Order on the subject. (C.A.R., No. 49)
"218. The colors of the President shall be of blue silk, measuring 3.6 feet hoist and 5.13 feet fly, attached to a staff, single screw jointed, which shall be 10 feet 3 inches long, including the ferrule and a gold-plated head. The head shall consist of a globe 2 inches in diameter, surmounted by an American eagle, alert, 5 3/8 inches high. In each of the four corners shall be a five-pointed white star with one point upward, the points of each star to lie in the circumference of an imaginary circle of 0.468 foot diameter. The centers of these circles are 0.77 foot from both the long and the short sides of the colors. In the center of the colors shall be placed a coat of arms, as prescribed and illustrated in the plan accompanying the Executive Order of the President of the United States of May 29, 1916. The device, letters, and stars to be embroidered in silk, the same on both sides of the colors; the colors to be trimmed on three sides with knotted fringe of silver and gold 3 inches wide; the cord, 8 feet 6 inches long, having two tassels, to be composed of red, white and blue silk strands. (C.A.R. No. 54)
These paragraphs were changed by Army Regulations No. 260-10, dated February 8, 1923, quoted in part as follows:
"7. Distinguishing flags.* * * * * * * *
b. For individuals.
(1) The President.
(a) The flag of the President will be of blue bunting, 10.2 feet hoist by 16 feet fly. In each of the four corners will be a white five-pointed star with one point upward, and in the center of the flag will be the coat of arms conforming to the plan accompanying the Executive Order dated May 29, 1916. (Bulletin 54, W.D., 1916). Other sizes will be made in accordance with the proportions shown on the plan accompanying the Executive Order referred to above.
(b) The color of the President will be of blue silk, 3.6 feet on the staff by 5.13 feet fly, of the same design as that of the flag of the President, and will be trimmed on three edges with a knotted fringe of silver and gold bullion, 2 ½ inches wide. The device and stars will be embroidered. The staff will be of wood, single screw jointed, 10 feet 3 inches in length, including gold-plated head and ferrule. The head will be a globe 2 inches in diameter, surmounted by an American eagle, rising, 5 3/8 inches in height. Attached below the head of the staff will be a cord, 8 feet 6 inches in length, with a tassel at each end. Cord and tassels will be of red, white, and blue silk strands.
(c) The boat flag of the President will be of blue bunting, 3.6 feet hoist by 5.13 feet fly, of the same design as that of the President.
(d) The automobile flag of the President will be of blue silk, 1.31 feet on the staff by 2.49 feet fly, of the same design as that of the flag of the President, and will be trimmed on three edges with a knotted fringe of white and yellow silk strands, 2 inches wide.
It will be noted that the width of the fringe on the color has been changed to 2 ½ inches so as to be the same width of fringe as appears on all colors. It will also be noted that this is the first authorization of an automobile flag for the President of the United States.
45. When the manufacturing drawing for the President's flags and colors were being prepared in the Office of the Quartermaster General it was found that the various proportions as authorized in Army Regulations No. 260-10 of 1923 did not coincide with the sizes as authorized in Executive Order No. 2390. As a result, the following letter was written to The Adjutant General under date of November 18, 1924.
"QM 424 G-C
Flags, President's. November 18, 1924
SUBJECT: Flags, President's.
TO: The Adjutant General.
1. Reference is had to paragraph 7b(1), AR 260-10, Distinguishing flags for the President, and Bulletin No. 54, War Department, 1916, containing Executive Order establishing the standard dimensions for two sizes of the President's flags and stating that all other flags made for the President are to be in proportion to the dimensions therein.
2. In the preparation of drawings for the President's flags, by this office, it was found that the proportions for flag No. 6 shown in Bulletin No. 54 were in error, likewise the dimensions of the color, boat and auto flags described in AR 260-10.
3. There is submitted herewith blue print copy of drawing No. CE 5-1-18 showing the proportions of the President's color and flags, using size No. 1 in above bulletin as constant, worked out in this office. Approval of the proportions and dimensions shown on this drawing is requested in order that orders now being held for the manufacture of the President's flag can be completed.
For The Quartermaster General:
RUDOLPH E. SMYSER,
Lieut. Colonel, Q.M.C.
Assistant.
1 Incl. ? Blue Print
#CE 5-1-18."
First Indorsement thereon approved the sizes. This indorsement is quoted as follows:
AG 424.5 (11-18-24) (Misc.) D 1st Ind. CCW-AVH
War Dept., A.G.O., November 26, 1924 ? To The Quartermaster General
"Quartermaster General drawing CE 5-1-18, the working drawing of the President's flag showing the exact dimensions of the four sizes is approved.
"By order of the Secretary of War:
H.H. TEBBETTS,
Adjutant General
1 Incl. no change."
46. The sizes as indicated on the Quartermaster Corps drawing, and approved as indicated above, appeared in AR 260-10, dated June 30, 1926, which is quoted in part as follows:
7. Distinguishing flags. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
b. For individuals.
(1) The President.
(a) The flag of the President will be of blue wool bunting, 10.2 feet hoist by 16 feet fly. In each of the four corners will be a white five-pointed star with one point upward, and in the center of the flag will be the coat of arms conforming to the plan accompanying the Executive Order dated May 29, 1916. (Bulletin No. 54, W.D., 1916.) Other sizes will be made in accordance with the proportions shown on the plan accompanying the Executive Order referred to above.
(b) The color of the flag of the President will be of blue silk, 3.6 feet on the staff by 5.65 feet fly, of the same design as that of the flag of the President, and will be trimmed on three edges with a knotted fringe of silver and gold bullion, 2 1/2 inches wide. The device and stars will be embroidered. The staff will be wood, single screw jointed, 10 feet 3 inches in length, including gold-plated head and ferrule. The head will be a globe 2 inches in diameter, surmounted by an American eagle, rising, 5 3/8 inches in height. Attached below the head of the staff will be a cord, 8 feet 6 inches in length, with a tassel at each end. Cord and tassels will be of red, white and blue silk strands.
(c) The boat flag of the President will be of blue wool bunting, 3.6 feet hoist by 5.65 feet fly, of the same design as that of the flag of the President.
(d) The automobile flag of the President will be of blue silk, 1.5 feet on the staff by 2.35 feet fly, of the same design as that of the flag of the President, and will be trimmed on three edges with a knotted fringe of white and yellow silk strands, 2 inches wide.
47. Executive Order No. 9646, October 25, 1945, is quoted as follows:
EXECUTIVE ORDER
COAT OF ARMS, SEAL, AND FLAG OF THE
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
By virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:
The Coat of Arms of the President of the United States shall be of the following design:
SHIELD: Paleways of thirteen pieces Argent and Gules, a chief Azure; upon the breast of an American eagle displayed holding in his dexter talon an olive branch and in his sinister a bundle of thirteen arrows all Proper, and in his beak a White scroll inscribed "E PLURIBUS UNUM" Sable.
CREST: Behind and above the eagle a radiating glory Or, on which appears an arc of thirteen cloud puffs Proper, and a constellation of thirteen mullets Argent.
The whole surrounded by white stars arrange in the form of an annulet with one point of each star outward on the imaginary radiating center lines, the number of stars conforming to the number of stars in the union of the Flag of the United States as established by act of Congress, approved April 4, 1818, 3 Stat. 415.
The Seal of the President of the United States shall consist of the Coat of Arms encircled by the words "Seal of the President of the United States."
The Color and Flag of the President of the United States shall consist of a dark blue rectangular background of sizes and proportions to conform to military and naval custom, on which shall appear the Coat of Arms of the President in proper colors. The proportions of the elements of the Coat of Arms shall be in direct relation to the hoist, and the fly shall vary according to the customs of the military and naval services.
That portion of Executive Order No. 2390 of May 29, 1916, pertaining to the illustration and requirements for the President's Flag is revoked.
The Coat of Arms, Seal and Color and Flag shall be as described herein and as set forth in the illustrations and specifications which accompany this order and which are hereby made a part thereof.
These designs shall be used to represent the President of the United States exclusively.
48. This Executive Order establishes for the first time a legal definition of the President's Coat of Arms and his Seal. The design of the Coat of Arms and the Seal has been changed slightly from the former design, and the Presidential Flag has also been changed. The Flag would consist of the Coat of Arms in full color, surrounded by 48 white stars on a blue field.
The former Presidential flag was adopted in 1916 by President Wilson. Prior to that time, the Army and the Navy had had separate flags for the Commander in Chief. President Wilson instructed his Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the Aide to the Secretary of the Navy, Commander Byron McCandless, U.S.N., to design a Presidential flag which would be suitable for use by both the Army and Navy. On May 29, 1916, President Wilson signed an Executive Order adopting the flag suggested by Assistant Secretary Roosevelt and Commander McCandless. The flag consisted of the Presidential coat of arms on a blue field with a white star in each of the corners.
In March of 1945, President Roosevelt discussed with his Naval Aide, Vice Admiral Wilson Brown, the advisability of changing the President's Flag. It seemed inappropriate to President Roosevelt for the flag of the Commander in Chief to have only four stars when there were five stars in the flags of Fleet Admirals and Generals of the Army, grades which had been created in December 1944.
It was natural that President Roosevelt should turn at this time to the officer who had worked with him in 1916, and who now held the rank of Commodore, Bryon McCandless.
For many years Commodore McCandless, who now commanded the U.S. Naval Repair Base at San Diego, California, had studied the histories of various flags of the United States. When Vice Admiral Brown wrote to him, at President Roosevelt's request, late in March for suggestions for a new design for the President's flag, Commodore McCandless prepared several designs based upon early American flags. His proposed designs arrive in Washington after the death of President Roosevelt and the President did not have the opportunity of seeing them until early in June.
The President (President Truman) and members of his staff examined them carefully and, preferring one design to the others, the President made several suggestions to Commodore McCandless concerning it. The President believed that all of the states in the Union should be represented on the Commander in Chief's Flag, and he asked Commodore McCandless to submit a new design with a circle of 48 stars around the Coat of Arms.
Commodore McCandless sent a painting of the proposed flag, with the circle of 48 stars, to the White House in July and when the President returned from Berlin in August, he tentatively approved that design.
It was then sent to the War and Navy Departments for comment and suggestions. The Chief of the Heraldic Section of the Office of the Quartermaster General of the Army, Mr. Arthur E. DuBois, like Commodore McCandless, had studied the history of flags and heraldic emblems for many years. Mr. DuBois made several suggestions to the President. He pointed out that there was no known basis in law for the Coat of Arms and Seal which had been used by Presidents since 1880 and which was reproduced on the Flag. The Seal had originated during the administration of President Hayes, apparently as an erroneous rendering of the Great Seal of the United States.
It is a curious fact that the eagle on the Great Seal faces to its own right, whereas the eagle on the seal in use by Presidents since 1880 faces to its own left. According to heraldic custom, the eagle of a Coat of Arms, unless otherwise specified in the heraldic description, is always made to face to its own right. There is no explanation for the eagle facing to its own left in the case of the President's Coat of Arms. To conform to heraldic custom, and since there was no authority other than usage for the former Presidential Coat of Arms, the President had Mr. DuBois redesign the Coat of Arms in accordance with the latter's suggestions.
In the new Coat of Arms, Seal and Flag, the Eagle not only faces to its own right ? the direction of honor ? but also toward the olive branches of peace which it holds in its right talon. Formerly the eagle faced toward the arrows in its left talon ? arrows, symbolic of war.
The President also decided that the eagle on his Seal and his Flag should appear in full color of the natural bird as is customary in most flags, rather than in white as it had been on the former flag.
49. Executive Order No. 10823, dated May 26, 1959, and effective July 4, 1959, added a star for Alaska.
50. Executive Order No. 10860, dated February 5, 1960, and effective July 4, 1960, added a star for Hawaii.
51. No record has been found as to the description or the date of adoption of the President's personal seal, although records of The White House, the Library of Congress, the State, War, Navy, and Treasury Departments have been consulted and letters of inquiry written to The Bailey, Banks and Biddle Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and to Tiffany Company, New York City, whose records indicated that they did not cut the original matrix.





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