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U.S. Air Force Flag

U.S. Air Force Flag
U.S. Air Force Flag
  • Date First Flown: March 31st, 1951
  • Designed By: Dorothy G. Gatchell
  • Design: An "ultramarine blue" flag with the Air Force Coat of Arms placed in the middle and surrounded by a circle of 13 white stars. The Air Force Coat of Arms consists of an eagle in front of a cloud, a wreath of silver and blue, and a shield.
  • Use Today: The flag of the U.S. Army is flown at official ceremonies and different government offices.

History

Department of Defense Seal
Department of Defense Seal

Before 1947, the responsibility for military aviation was divided between the Army and the Navy. On September 18th, 1947, the National Security Act created the United States Department of Defense and established the Air Force as a new third division of the military meant to deal with military aviation. The creation of a new department of the military called for a new official seal for the U.S. Air Force. Arthur E. Dubois, who was the Chief of the Heraldic Branch of the Army, designed a seal for the Air Force and submitted it to W. Stuart Symington, the Secretary of the Air Force. On November 1st, 1947, President Harry Truman approved the new seal with Executive Order No. 9902. In 1950, a government artist named Dorothy G. Gatchell was tasked with the design of a flag for the U.S. Air Force. Gatchell's design was approved and the flag was displayed publicly for the first time on March 31st, 1951 in a parade honoring the visiting French President, Vincent Auriol.

Coat of Arms Design & Symbolism

Department of the Air Force Seal
Department of the Air Force Seal

The Crest includes an eagle, a wreath, and a cloud formation. The eagle is specifically meant to be an American Bald Eagle and to symbolize the U.S. and its airpower, while the clouds represent the start of a new sky and a new day. The Crest also includes a shield with a gold, blue, and white design. The gold design on the shield is "thunderbolt", and symbolizes striking power through the sky. Finally, the Crest includes 13 white stars for the original 13 American colonies, and the Roman numerals MCMXLVII which translate to the year of the Air Force's Conception, 1947.