Last modified: 2017-12-15 by rick wyatt
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image by Joe McMillan, 11 March 2003
Despite its name, the University of Pennsylvania (known as Penn) is not the public university of the state but a private institution. It was established as the College of Philadelphia in 1755, based on the earlier Academy and Charity School founded by Benjamin Franklin. Its charter was replaced by the revolutionary legislature in 1779, which renamed it the
University of the State of Pennsylvania. In 1789, the College of Philadelphia was reinstated, but alongside rather than in place of the 1779 institution. The two were merged two years later under the present name.
The Penn coat of arms, adopted in 1933, is Argent on a chevron azure three plates, on a chief gules a dolphin embowed between two open books of the field. The three plates come from the arms of William Penn and the dolphin from those of Franklin. The flag, adopted at the same time consists of five alternate red and blue stripes with the coat of arms on the center. The official description of both flag and arms stipulates that the shades of red and blue should be the same as in the US flag. See a photograph at securitylab.cis.upenn.edu/users/agoodloe/pics/campus/Picture%20024.jpg.
Joe McMillan, 11 March 2003
image located by Paul Bassinson, 15 November 2017