12.16.2009

The United States Civil Flag of Peacetime

http://www.barefootsworld.net/uscivilflag.html
"We the People of the United States..."

actually have two national flags, a military flag and a civil flag for peacetime.
They have several important distinctions and meanings.

US Civil (Peace-time) flag - www.barefootsworld.net
[US Civil (Peace-time) flag]

US Military (War-time) flag - www.barefootsworld.net
[US Military (War-time) flag]

Almost all Americans think of the Stars and Stripes "Old Glory" as their only flag.
Through usage and custom, horizontal stripes had become adopted for use over military posts, and vertical stripes adopted for use over civilian establishments. The Civil Flag, intended for peacetime usage in custom house civilian settings, had vertical stripes with blue stars on a white field. By the Law of the Flag, this design denoted civil jurisdiction under the Constitution and common law as opposed to military jurisdiction under admiralty/military law.
Although intended just for Customs house usage, the new Civil Flag became adopted by both customhouses and merchants, and others who could afford them, to show their civilian nature and not under military control. The practice of using the Customs Flag as a Civil Flag became encoded in law in 1874 when Treasury Secretary William. A. Richardson required all customhouses to display the Civil Flag.
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