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Coast Guard Flag History
The origins of the Coast Guard standard are very obscure. One theory states that it might have evolved from an early jack. There is at least one contemporary painting supporting this theory. In an 1840 painting, the Revenue cutter Alexander Hamilton flies a flag very similar to that of today’s Coast Guard as a jack. This flag, like the union jack, appears to be the canton or upper corner of the Revenue cutter ensign.
An illustration in 1917 shows the Coast Guard standard as a white flag with a blue eagle and 13 stars in a semicircle surrounding it. Later, the words, “United States Coast Guard– Semper Paratus” were added.
After 1950, the semicircle of stars was changed to the circle containing 13 stars. The Coast Guard standard is used during parades and ceremonies and is adorned by the Coast Guard’s 34 battle streamers. The Coast Guard is unique to the other services for it has two official flags, the Coast Guard standard and the Coast Guard ensign.
The current flag was officially adopted on January 28, 1964.
|Dimensions||10 x 8 x .20 in|