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Department of Education (U.S.)

Last modified: 2016-03-11 by rick wyatt
Keywords: education | departmental | united states |
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[Flag of the Department of Education] image by Joe McMillan, 14 December 2001

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The flag of the US Department of Education is the departmental seal on a white field. The seal was approved by Secretary Shirley Hufstedler on 31 March 1980 and published in the Federal Register, Vol 45, No. 252, p. 86491, on 31 December 1980, codified to 34 Code of Federal Regulations 3.2.

The official description is "Standing upon a mound an oak tree with black trunk and limbs in front of a gold rising sun, issuing gold rays on a light blue disc." This emblem is enclosed by a dark blue border with gold edges bearing the inscriptions "Department of Education" and "United States of America" in white letters, separated by white stars.

Nothing in the files of the Army Institute of Heraldry, which generally prepares the official manufacturing drawings for flags for most agencies, suggests that any personal flags have ever been authorized in this department.
Joe McMillan, 14 December 2001

Variant flag

[Flag of the Department of Education] image by Randy Young, 18 May 2005

The flag flies outside the department's headquarters in Washington, DC, and is white with the department seal centered on it. The seal and its significance is described at

"Three main parts comprise the seal for the Department of Education - the tree, the leaves, and the sun rays. The U.S. Army Heraldry Directorate worked with the Secretary of Education to design the seal. "With its sturdy trunk set in solid earth, the tree expresses the confidence and strength imparted to the individual through the development of the mind and the assimilation of knowledge. The glory and satisfaction of achievement are exhibited in its leaves. The background of sun and rays suggests the role of the Department in the promotion, nurturing, and encouragement of the best in all aspects of the nation's educational system." Former Secretary of Education, Shirley Mount Hufstedler, selected the seal's design in 1980. The Department Flag on which the seal appears was unfurled for the first time on May 7 at 3 PM on the South Lawn of the White House and in front of the Federal Office Building where the Department is housed."
Randy Young, 18 May 2005

No Secretary flag

Per a letter received today from the Secretary’s office, the Secretary of Education does not have a positional flag.

I have seen art of a dark blue flag, with seal in the center and four stars in the corners, but this was apparently conjecture, and does not actually exist.

Dave Fowler, 2 March 2015