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House of Representatives (U.S.)

Last modified: 2015-11-11 by rick wyatt
Keywords: house of representatives | senate | departmental | united states |
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[House of Representative flag with blue background]
image by Pete Loeser, 18 October 2013
      [House of Representative flag with white background]
image by Pete Loeser, 18 October 2013

See also:


Here is the response from the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives regarding a flag:

In regard to your inquiry about an official flag for the House of Representatives, the office supply section indicates that such a flag exists. It was authorized and designed for use by House members with the House seal in a white field, fringed in gold. Every flag that was ever ordered, two in the last 15 years, was custom-made and cost $900.

However, office supply no longer has any documentation of the authorization of the flag or an official description of its design. There was an unsuccessful effort to authorize a flag in 1961, and in 1984 legislation was introduced prohibiting former members of Congress displaying a flag indicating current service. We have been unable to narrow any authorization for the flag any further.

Office of the Clerk
U.S. House of Representatives
submitted by: Chris Dean, 22 August 2002

I have only one photo with the House flag (white with the color House seal) which was a partial shot in a press conference from last year, but then I could not re-find the image.
Ben Cahoon, 12 January 2010

In the strange world of political double talk there is no flag of the United States House of Representatives, but, in fact, it not only exists, there are several versions in use. The problem is apparently no official documentation for an "official" flag for the House of Representatives has ever been authorized or produced, and in a classic case of "one hand not knowing what the other is doing," several different legislative departments have had versions of the flag made.

The Speaker's Office itself probably had several flags made to use for special press conferences in the Capitol building when the Speaker was using a room to speak, and they likely are the ones who created the blue flag with the House seal and gold fringe we see in many photographs of the current Speaker of the House. So basically, the flag exists de facto, if not de jure.

Pete Loeser, 18 October 2013
source: Historic Flags of Our Ancestors

Blue flag

[House of Representative flag photo]
Photo of flag with blue background
image located by Rick Wyatt, 11 October 2013

Speaker of the House of Representatives

[Speaker of the House of Representative flag] image by Rob Raeside, 11 September 2010

The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives. The office was established in 1789. Strangely enough, the Constitution does not require that the Speaker be a member of Congress, however, in reality no non-member has ever been elected or is likely to be. The Speaker is actually chosen by the majority party in the House (since they control the vote) and actively works to support that party's legislative platform. The Speaker is second in the United States presidential line of succession, after the Vice President, giving the office considerable power.

The flag currently in use for the Speaker of the House has his seal centered on a blue field with a gold fringe. Again, no documented authorization exists for this de facto flag.
Pete Loeser, 16 November 2013

According to the Speakers office a flag exists however, no picture is available. The flag is red, white, and blue with a gold eagle perched on a globe. The words Speaker of the United States House of Representatives are on the flag.
Sean McKinniss, 25 February 2003

I have found nothing in the newspapers since 1960 about anything adopted by the House for a flag for whatever purpose except the failed attempt to adopt a "members flag" in 1961 (that flag was intended for members yachts and such). So no design is official. All of them are "ad hoc".

Having said that, there are several entities that may need or want to make such a flag. First of all there are the folks responsible for the maintenance and decoration of the House chamber itself, that would be the Capitol Architects office I think, but as far as I know they don't deal in flags much (except for the U.S. Flags you can get from any Congressperson that flew [for 30 seconds] over the Capitol).

Then you have the House Clerk's office whose job is to see that the chamber's records are properly prepared, including videos and of course for a proper video you'd need a flag or two in the background. Their flag appears to be white with the seal and gold fringe, or so they say.

Then there is the Speaker's office, who not only likely created the blue flag with the House seal and gold fringe, but also the Speaker's flag we see in the photos. Probably there is one or more of each in the Speaker's office but the photo showing two blue House flags was probably taken in the special "press conference room" of the Capitol reserved for the Speaker (or at least he has it any minute he wants it). I'm guessing there is yet a separate staff for setting up that room and their armaments include these two house flags.

There may yet be other variants from the past, present or future we haven't seen yet!

Dave Martucci, 17 April 2012

Speaker's Mace

The Speaker's Mace is 46 inches high and consists of 13 thin ebony rods representing the original 13 States of the Union. The rods are bound together by four crossing ribbons of silver, pinned together and held at the bottom and at the top by silver bands. The bands are decorated with Floral borders and a respousse design. The name "Wm. Adams/ Manufacturer/ New York/ 1841." is engraved in the cartouche, located in the front center of the bottom band. This shaft is topped by a silver globe 4 1/2 inches in diameter and engraved with the seven continents, the names of the oceans, lines of longitude, and the major lines of latitude. The Western Hemisphere faces the front. The glob is encircled with a silver rim marked with the degrees of latitude, on which is perched an engraved solid silver eagle with a wingspan of 15 inches. The total weight of the Mace is ten pounds.
Joe McMillan, 25 February 2003