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Department of Interior (U.S.)

Last modified: 2015-04-25 by rick wyatt
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[Flag of the Dept. of the Interior] image by Joe McMillan, 9 December 2001



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Department of the Interior flags are governed by Departmental Manual Part 310, Chapter 5 (310 DM 5), last revised 3 April 1990.


Description

The departmental seal on the flag of the Department of the Interior was changed a few years ago and I don't know if the seal on the Secretaries flag was also changed to match. The drawing I have for the Secretaries flag dates from 1949. My guess is that the current flag differs from the 1949 drawing although the drawing was never updated by the Institute of Heraldry. The main differences in the seal on the Secretary's flag from 1949 is that there is not the date in the designation band and the edges of the designation are roped.
John Niggley, 11 July 2000

Department of the Interior - 52 by 66 inches, light blue and white arranged in four alternate triangles (i.e., per saltire), with the seal of the department, 26 inches in diameter, on the center. The seal shows a male buffalo (American bison) standing on a prairie with mountains and the rising sun [sic] in the background. (The only mountains visible from a prairie where one would encounter a bison are the Rockies; they are west of the prairies and therefore any sun would be setting, not rising.) For indoor display, surrounded by 2 1/2 inch golden fringe, mounted on a staff with a gold-colored spread eagle, and decorated with a golden cord and tassel. Same proportions for outdoor hoisting, without fringe. Also exists as a vessel flag, 22 x 32 inches. The four triangles in the field are said to stand for the original areas of responsibility of the department: fish and wildlife, mineral resources, water and power, and public land management.
Joe McMillan, 9 December 2001


Secretary of the Interior

[Flag of the Secretary of the Interior]
image by Joe McMillan, 9 December 2001
1934-present
[1917 Flag of the Secretary of the Interior]
image by Joe McMillan, 9 December 2001
1917-1934

The flag of the Secretary is a solid light blue background with a similar seal centered and 7 white stars arranged in 2 straight horizontal rows with 3 above the seal and 4 below the seal.
John Niggley, 11 July 2000

Secretary of the Interior - 52 x 66 inches, oriental blue with the departmental seal, 26 inches in diameter, on the center. Across the top of the flag are three stars and across the bottom four more, white, fitting within imaginary circles 5 inches in diameter. The seven stars represent the seven principal subdivisions of the department when this flag was adopted: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Mines, Geological Survey, and Fish and Wildlife Service. Gold fringe and cord and tassels, spread eagle finial. Also exists as a vessel flag, 22 x 32 inches without fringe, and an automobile flag, 18 x 26 inches without fringe. (Source: 310 DM 5.3 and illustration 3).

According to [kng49], page 642, the current Secretary of the Interior's flag was adopted in 1934.
John Niggley and Joe McMillan, 9 December 2001

The former flag was used until the mid-1930s, a horizontal triband, light blue-white-light blue, with the seal on the center surrounded by the seven white stars, three above and four below the seal, arranged in arcs. Note that the seal at the time differed from that currently in use, lacking the date of the department's establishment. Source: Drawings in File 840-10 Heraldic Activities: Department of the Interior, U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry. Same size, fringe, etc., as current flag.
Joe McMillan, 9 December 2001

[Flag of the Secretary of the Interior]
image by Ben Cahoon, 23 October 2011
pre-1817

The pre-1917 Interior Department Secretary's flag was a pretty simple affair, green with a brown buffalo and 4 stars. It is shown in the National Geographic Flag edition 1917. It is a basic forest green with a buffalo in brown in the center and 4 five pointed gold stars the corners. (it looks the buffalo is turning toward the viewer with the head (face) of the buffalo is facing out, this is instead of the buffalo being in profile as it has been since 1917)
Ben Cahoon, 23 October 2011


Under Secretary of the Interior

[Flag of the Under Secretary of the Interior] image by Joe McMillan, 9 December 2001

Under Secretary of the Interior - Same as the Secretary's flag, but white with blue stars. Used only for indoor display; no vessel or automobile variants. (Source: 310 DM 5.4 and illustration 4)
Joe McMillan, 9 December 2001


Assistant Secretary of the Interior

[Flag of the Assistant Secretary of the Interior] image by Joe McMillan, 9 December 2001

Assistant Secretaries of the Interior - Same as the Under Secretary's flag, but with blue fringe, cord, and tassels. Used only for indoor display; no vessel or automobile variants. (Source: 310 DM 5.5 and illustration 5)
Joe McMillan, 9 December 2001