Washington, D.C., formally known as District of Columbia, is the capital district of the United States; it's the headquarters of federal Executive, Legislative and Judiciary branches. Under exclusive jurisdiction of United States Congress, it doesn't belong to any US state.

Its current flag, whose author is Charles A.R. Dunn, was adopted in 1938 in a public competition. It is a rectangular version (a banner of arms) of the coat of arms of George Washington, the Independence War hero and first president of United States, for whom the city of Washington, D.C. was named.

The dimensions of the stars and stripes are specified by law:

"The proportions of the design are prescribed in terms of the hoist, or vertical height, of the flag as follows: the upper white portion shall be 3/10 of the hoist; the two horizontal bars are each 2/10 of the hoist; the white area between the bars 1/10 of the hoist; and the base, or lowest white space, is 2/10 of the hoist. The three five-pointed stars have a diameter of 2/10 of the hoist and are spaced equidistant in the fly, or horizontal, dimension of the flag."

Historical flags[edit | edit source]

Before 1938, the District of Columbia did not have an official flag, so, when needed, an unofficial banner was flown, usually the D.C. Army National Guard flag. In 1917, the National Geographic Magazine reported a flag supposedly used as unofficial flags of District of Columbia: the flag of District of Columbia Militia. It contained a hammer and the writing "HEADQUARTERS" and "DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA MILITIA". According to the same magazine, in 1937, the flag was replaced by one with the DC crest: the Capitol in front of a flaming sun, and same writing.

Only in 1938 an official flag was chosen, in a public competition. The winner entry, by Charles A.R. Dunn, is still the official D.C. flag. The first time Dunn proposed the flag was in 1921.

In July 2002, the D.C. Council approved a change in district flag, by 10-2 vote (and one absence), in protest in favor of DC statehood. The referred proposal included the "DC" writing in central star, and the text "TAXATION WITHOUT" in superior red bar and "REPRESENTATION" in inferior one. However, the bill never was signed by the then-mayor nor the successors.

Proposed flags[edit | edit source]

United States
States and federal district


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