Presidential Flag History

Feb 18th, 2017

The current flag of the United States President was adopted as amended by Executive Order of President Eisenhower in 1960. It consists of a blue field, and features a combination of the Presidential coat of arms and the U.S. Great Seal surrounded by 50 stars to represent each state in the United States.


Image courtesy of Zscout370 at English Wikipedia


The design was originally adopted in 1945 by Executive Order of President Truman. At that time, there were 48 states. A new star was added in 1959 for Alaska, and in 1960 for Hawaii.


There have been other flags used to represent the President of the United States. In 1882, it was noted that other countries had a flag that represented the head of state. As a result, the Navy issued an order setting out the design of a Presidential flag. It was to be used on war vessels when the President was present. In the late 1800s, the U.S. seal was changed. In response, the Navy flag was changed to reflect the new seal design.



In 1898, the Army adopted a flag to represent the U.S. President. The flag was designed by a civilian engineer employed by the War Department. The 45 small stars represented the 45 U.S. states. An additional star was added in 1908 when Oklahoma became a state. The Army later updated its flag to include the Navy design, but kept the original field color. In 1913, the field of the Army flag was changed from red to blue by Executive Order of President Taft. The new version of the flag included 48 stars. That flag was displayed until 1916.





President Roosevelt did not think it was appropriate to have two flags to represent the commander-in-chief. He chose the Navy version of the flag, since it was the first flag, as the preferred design. Some design changes were made, and the resulting flag was introduced in May 1902. However, the Navy and Army were allowed to continue using their respective flags.



In 1916, President Wilson adopted a single Presidential flag design for use by the President and by the Army and Navy. He did not like the idea of having two separate designs representing the commander in chief. He issued an Executive Order on May 29, 1916, that outlined what the flag should look like.



As noted at the beginning of this post, the current Presidential flag was adopted in 1945. The design has remained the same since that year.


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