Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter III. District of Columbia Flag.


Part A. General.

§ 1–141. Findings.

The Council of the District of Columbia finds that:

(1) Section 2 of a joint resolution to codify and emphasize existing rules and customs pertaining to the display and use of the flag of the United States of America (36 U.S.C. § 174) [revised; now see 4 U.S.C. § 6] addresses the method, time, and places for the display of the United States flag:

(A) The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.

(B) It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and stationary flagstaffs in the open. When a patriotic effect is desired, however, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.

(C) The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed.

(D) The flag should be displayed on all days, especially on those days designated as federal and state holidays.

(E) The flag should be displayed daily on or near the main administration building of every public institution.

(F) The flag should be displayed in or near every polling place on election days.

(G) The flag should be displayed during school days in or near every schoolhouse.

(2) The display of the District of Columbia flag will inculcate a spirit of patriotism in our citizens.


(July 1, 1982, D.C. Law 4-121, § 2, 29 DCR 2072.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-121.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) establishment of advisory commission, see § 2 of Flag Design Advisory Commission Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-424, July 17, 2002, 49 DCR 7627).

For temporary (90 day) establishment of a Flag Design Advisory Commission, see § 2 of Flag Design Advisory Commission Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-538, December 2, 2002, 49 DCR 11653).

For temporary (90 day) establishment of the Flag Design Advisory Commission, see § 2 of Flag Design Advisory Commission Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-6, January 27, 2003, 50 DCR 1455).


§ 1–142. Requirements as to display.

The flag of the District of Columbia shall be displayed in the same manner, at the same time, and on the same occasions as the flag of the United States is displayed in the District of Columbia pursuant to and consistent with federal law.


(July 1, 1982, D.C. Law 4-121, § 3, 29 DCR 2072.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-122.


§ 1–143. Staff to be used.

Wherever practicable, the District of Columbia flag shall be flown on the same staff as the United States flag.


(July 1, 1982, D.C. Law 4-121, § 4, 29 DCR 2072.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-123.


§ 1–144. Inside public buildings.

The flag of the District of Columbia shall be displayed inside all public buildings whenever and wherever the flag of the United States is displayed.


(July 1, 1982, D.C. Law 4-121, § 5, 29 DCR 2072.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-124.


§ 1–145. Notice to commercial property owners.

The Department of Finance and Revenue shall give notice of the provisions of this subchapter in each real property tax bill sent to commercial property owners in the next mailing immediately following July 1, 1982.


(July 1, 1982, D.C. Law 4-121, § 6, 29 DCR 2072.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-125.

References in Text

Pursuant to the Office of the Chief Financial Officer’s “Notice of Public Interest” published in the April 18, 1997, issue of the District of Columbia Register ( 44 DCR 2345) the Office of Tax and Revenue assumed all of the duties and functions previously performed by the Department of Finance and Revenue, as set forth in Commissioner’s Order 69-96, dated March 7, 1969. This action was made effective January 22, 1997, nunc pro tunc.


Part B. District of Columbia Flag Adoption and Design.

§ 1–151. District of Columbia official flag.

The flag of the District of Columbia shall be 3 red stars in the upper portion of the flag (the chief), with 2 red horizontal bars on a field of white. All proportions described in this section are expressed in relation to the flag’s vertical dimension (the hoist). The chief shall be 3/10 of the hoist, the horizontal red bars shall be 2 /10 , the base and white space between the 2 bars shall be 2/10 and 1/10, respectively. The red stars shall be 2/10 in diameter, and shall be spaced equidistant in the fly. The length of the fly shall depend on the proportions of the flag upon which this design may be displayed.


(Mar. 25, 2003, D.C. Law 14-237, § 2, 49 DCR 10485.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 1-171.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-152.


§ 1–152. Inclusion of “DC” and “No Taxation Without Representation” within District of Columbia flag.

(a) After the design adopted under subsection (b) of this section becomes effective, the flag of the District of Columbia shall temporarily contain the language “DC” and “No Taxation Without Representation”.

(b) The placement and design of the language prescribed in subsection (a) of this section shall be established by act of the Council.

(c) The flag adopted pursuant to § 1-151 and subsection (b) of this section shall be flown officially as of 90 days following the effective date of the act specified in subsection (b) of this section.

(d) The language prescribed in subsection (a) of this section shall be removed from the flag when District of Columbia registered voters are able to vote for 2 Senators and one Representative with full rights and privileges in the Congress of the United States.

(e) The language prescribed in subsection (a) of this section shall not be required in instances where a reproduction of the flag is placed as a symbol on motor vehicles, District of Columbia government letterhead, or other objects.

(f) Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the District government and any person may officially display a District of Columbia flag that contains the language “DC” and “No Taxation Without Representation” on June 14 of each year, known as Flag Day, until a design is officially adopted by the Council pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.


(Mar. 25, 2003, D.C. Law 14-237, § 3, 49 DCR 10485; Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-239, § 2, 59 DCR 14788.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 1-172.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-154 and § 1-172.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-239 added (f).


§ 1–153. Flag Design Advisory Commission.

(a) There is established a Flag Design Advisory Commission (“Commission”) with the purpose of preparing a recommendation for the placement and design of the language “DC” and “No Taxation Without Representation” on the District of Columbia flag.

(b) The Commission shall be composed of 7 members: the Mayor, or his or her designee; the Chairman of the Council, or his or her designee; the Chairman of the Council’s Subcommittee on Labor, Voting Rights, and Redistricting, or his or her designee; 2 persons appointed by the Mayor; and 2 persons appointed by the Chairman of the Council. The Chairman of the Council shall designate the Commission Chairman. All appointments shall be made within 30 days of March 25, 2003. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the initial appointment was made.

(c) The Commission shall submit its recommendation in the form of a report to the Council no later than 4 months after March 25, 2003. The Commission shall approve its recommendation by a majority vote.

(d) Costs of the Commission and its members shall be borne by the members or paid through private contributions. The Commission is authorized to receive private-sector contributions. The Commission is authorized to use space and supplies owned or rented by the District of Columbia government, and to use staff loaned from the Council or detailed from the Mayor for such purposes consistent with this subchapter as the Commission may determine.

(e) The Commission shall have the authority to create and operate under its own rules of procedure.

(f) The books and records of the Commission shall be public documents.


(Mar. 25, 2003, D.C. Law 14-237, § 4, 49 DCR 10485.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 1-173.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-173.


§ 1–154. Use of donations and grants for flag replacement.

The Mayor is authorized to solicit, receive, accept, and expend donations or grants from private sources to defray the costs of replacing existing District of Columbia flags with flags that include the language prescribed in § 1-152(a).


(Mar. 25, 2003, D.C. Law 14-237, § 5, 49 DCR 10485.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 1-174.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-174.


§ 1–155. Commemorative flags.

(a)(1) An individual or organization may request from the Council, through an individual Councilmember, a District of Columbia flag that has been flown at the John A. Wilson Building, including on a specific date; provided, that a request for a flag flown on a specific date shall be made at least 10 business days before that date.

(2) Nothing in this section shall bind the Council to fulfill a request for a flag flown on a specific date.

(b)(1) A flag provided pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be accompanied by a personalized certificate that identifies the requestor to whom it is issued and authenticates that the flag was flown at the John A. Wilson Building on a specific date.

(2) The certificate issued pursuant to this subsection shall be signed by the Secretary to the Council.

(c) The Secretary to the Council may maintain an inventory of flags that have been flown at the John A. Wilson building so as to be able to fulfill requests for flags that do not specify a particular date; provided, that the date that each such flag was flown be cataloged for inclusion in the certificate to be issued pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

(d) The Secretary to the Council shall:

(1) Develop a process and form for commemorative flag requests that shall provide an option for the requestor to donate to the New Columbia Statehood Fund established by § 1-129.32;

(2) Establish size, material, design, and vendor-source guidelines for flags to be flown and provided pursuant to this section; and

(3) Establish and collect a fee that covers:

(A) The cost of the flag and the certificate; and

(B) The cost of shipping or delivering the flag and certificate to the requestor.

(e) Funds collected pursuant to this section shall be credited as follows:

(1) The fee covering the cost of the flag and the certificate shall be deposited in the Council Reimbursement Fund established by § 1-156.

(2) Any donation to the New Columbia Statehood Fund shall be deposited in the New Columbia Statehood Fund established by § 1-129.32.


(Mar. 25, 2003, D.C. Law 14-237, § 5a; as added Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-198, § 2, 63 DCR 15033.)


§ 1–156. Council Reimbursement Fund.

(a) There is established as a special fund the Council Reimbursement Fund ("Fund"), which shall be administered by the Secretary to the Council in accordance with subsections (b) and (c) of this section.

(b) Revenue from the following sources shall be deposited in the Fund:

(1) Fees covering the cost of a flag and certificate collected by the Council pursuant to § 1-155; and

(2) Any interest earned from the monies deposited into the Fund.

(c) Money in the Fund shall be used for operating expenses related to administering the program established under § 1-155.

(d)(1) The money deposited into the Fund, and interest earned, shall not revert to the unrestricted fund balance of the General Fund of the District of Columbia at the end of a fiscal year, or at any other time.

(2) Subject to authorization in an approved budget and financial plan, any funds appropriated in the Fund shall be continually available without regard to fiscal year limitation.


(Mar. 25, 2003, D.C. Law 14-237, § 5b; as added Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-198, § 2, 63 DCR 15033.)