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OFFICIAL FLAGS OF THE DEPARTMENT

DAO 201-6: OFFICIAL FLAGS OF THE DEPARTMENT
Number: DAO 201-6
Effective Date:  2002-02-27

Office name change update, effective 11-13-2014, per DOO 20-1, Director for Facilities and Environmental Quality.

SECTION 1. PURPOSE.

.01 This Order authorizes and describes official flags for use by the organizations and officials of the Department of Commerce.

.02 This revision establishes provisions for the NOAA Commissioned Corps Flag; incorporates the outstanding amendment, and generally updates and clarifies the provisions of the Order.

SECTION 2. POLICY.

In addition to the Flag of the United States, only those flags which are covered by this Order are authorized for use by the organizations and officials of the Department. Flag requirements are established by statute or regulation.

SECTION 3. FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES.

.01 The following officials are authorized to display in their respective offices the Flag of the United States procured at public expense:

The Secretary and Deputy Secretary, their Special Assistants and other assistants of equivalent status;

Under Secretaries and the General Counsel and their Special Assistants and other assistants of equivalent status;

Assistant Secretaries, the Inspector General, and their deputies; and

Heads of primary operating units and Departmental offices.
.02 The head of a primary operating unit may authorize the procurement of U.S. flags for display in the offices of key unit officials, including those who serve in geographic locations separate from the headquarters as the principal representatives of the primary operating unit.

.03 Secretarial Officers and heads of primary operating units, or persons designated by them, may authorize the procurement of U.S. flags (a) for display where events take place, such as oath taking or public hearings, which make the presence of the flag particularly appropriate; and (b) for display in public places in keeping with the honor and respect due the national colors.

SECTION 4. NOAA SERVICE FLAG.

.01 Authorization. NOAA, in recognition of its role as it relates to the tradition of the sea, has an authorized service flag. It shall be blue, with a white circle centered thereon and a red triangle (base down) on the circle, and with the NOAA emblem superimposed on the triangle.

.02 Display and Use. The service flag authorized herein shall be flown or displayed only in accordance with instructions issued by the Administrator, NOAA, which shall be consistent with the general provisions of this Order.

.03 Ship's Pennant. NOAA is also authorized a ship's pennant. Its design and colors, display and use shall be prescribed by the Administrator, NOAA, provided there is no conflict with the provisions of this Order.

SECTION 5. PERSONAL FLAGS.

The following personal flags are authorized in recognition of important posts in the Department of Commerce:

.01 Secretary of Commerce.

a. The flag of the Secretary of Commerce shall depict a full-rigged ship in blue, above a lighthouse in blue, both within a white shield on a blue field, with a five-pointed star in white in each corner of the flag.

b. Display of the personal flag of the Secretary shall be limited to the office of the Secretary, and to other locations where the Secretary is present in an official capacity. In an appropriate size, it may also be flown on a vessel when the Secretary is aboard in an official capacity, or on an automobile when used in an official capacity. In all instances, it shall be displayed only in conjunction with, and subordinate to, the Flag of the United States.

.02 Deputy Secretary of Commerce.

a. The flag of the Deputy Secretary of Commerce shall depict a full-rigged ship in white, over a lighthouse in white, both within a blue shield on a white field, with a five-pointed star in blue in each corner of the flag.

b. Display of the personal flag of the Deputy Secretary shall be limited to the office of the Deputy Secretary, and to other locations where the Deputy Secretary is present in an official capacity, provided he or she is the ranking Department official present. In an appropriate size it may also be flown on a vessel when the Deputy Secretary is aboard in an official capacity as Acting Secretary of Commerce or on an automobile when the Deputy is Acting Secretary of Commerce. In all instances, it shall be displayed only in conjunction with, and subordinate to, the Flag of the United States.

.03 Under Secretaries and the General Counsel.

a. The flag of an Under Secretary or of the General Counsel shall depict a full-rigged ship in white over a lighthouse in white, both within a blue shield on a red field, with a five-pointed star in white in each corner of the flag.

b. Display of the personal flag of an Under Secretary or of the General Counsel shall be limited to the official's office, and to other locations where he or she is present in an official capacity, provided he or she is the ranking Department official present. In all instances, it shall be displayed only in conjunction with, and subordinate to, the Flag of the United States.

.04 Assistant Secretaries.

a. The flag of an Assistant Secretary shall depict a full-rigged ship, in white over a lighthouse in white, both within a blue shield on a red field, with a five-pointed star in white in each corner of the flag.

b. Display of the personal flag of an Assistant Secretary shall be limited to the official's office, and to other locations where he or she is present in an official capacity, provided he or she is the ranking Department official present. In all instances, it shall be displayed only in conjunction with, and subordinate to, the Flag of the United States.

.05 Heads of Primary Operating Units.

a. Except as otherwise provided herein, the flag of the head of a primary operating unit shall depict a full-rigged ship in white, over a lighthouse in white, both within a red shield on a blue field, with a five-pointed star in white in each corner of the flag.

b. Display of the personal flag of the head of a primary operating unit shall be limited to the official's office and to other installations of the operating unit during his or her presence in an official capacity, provided he or she is the ranking Department official present. In all instances, it shall be displayed only in conjunction with, and subordinate to, the Flag of the United States.

.06 Administrator, NOAA, Deputy Administrator, and Chief Scientist.

a. The flag of the Administrator, NOAA, shall depict four white stars superimposed on the NOAA service flag, one in each corner of the flag. The flag of the Deputy Administrator, NOAA, shall depict four red stars superimposed on the NOAA service flag in like manner. The flag of the Chief Scientist, NOAA, shall depict three red stars on the NOAA service flag, arranged vertically on the staff side of the flag.

b. The personal flag of the NOAA Administrator, Deputy Administrator, or Chief Scientist shall be displayed only in the respective official's office, except that it may be flown or displayed at other installations of NOAA during the official's presence in an official capacity, and providing he or she is the ranking official present. In all instances, it shall be displayed only in conjunction with, and subordinate to, the Flag of the United States.

.07 Flag Officers, NOAA.

a. Public Law 98-498 enacted October 19, 1984, provides for restructuring the flag officer grades in the NOAA Corps and substitutes the grades of commodore for rear admiral (lower half); rear admiral for rear admiral (upper half); and vice admiral for positions of importance and responsibility. This structure was again changed, when on November 8, 1985, Public Law 99-145 changed the grade of commodore back to rear admiral (lower half) but retained the one-star insignia of the 0-7 grade.

b. The flag of a vice admiral shall depict a triangle (base down) in white, on a blue field, with three five-pointed stars in white arranged vertically on the staff side of the flag. The flag for both the old grade or rear admiral (upper half) and the new grade of rear admiral shall depict a triangle (base down) in white, on a blue field, with two five-pointed stars in white, one opposite each side of the triangle. The flag of a rear admiral (lower half) appointed before November 8, 1985, shall depict a triangle (base down) in blue, on a white field, with two five-pointed stars in blue, one opposite each side of the triangle. The flag of a rear admiral (lower half) appointed on or after November 8, 1985, shall depict a triangle (base down) in white, edged in blue, on a white field, with one five-pointed star, in blue, centered in the triangle.

c. Retired flag officers are authorized to display personal flags at ceremonies appropriate for official observance. Refer to subparagraph 5.07b. of this Order for the appropriate flag.

.08 NOAA Commissioned Corps Flag.

a. The flag of the NOAA Commissioned Corps shall depict a full globe, surmounted by a spread eagle, facing dexter. The breast of the eagle carries a shield and the globe is superimposed on crossed fouled anchors. The globe, eagle, and anchors are white, superimposed on a red triangle. The triangle is centered within a white circle with "NOAA COMMISSIONED CORPS" arranged around the upper half of the circle in blue lettering. The year "1917" is centered around the bottom half of the circle in blue letters. One blue star is placed at each side of the base of the red triangle on the outer ring of the circle. The white circle is centered on a blue field.

b. The NOAA Commissioned Corps flag shall be flown or displayed only in accordance with instructions issued by the Administrator, NOAA, which shall be consistent with the general provisions of the Order.

SECTION 6. AUTHORIZATION OF FLAGS.

.01 In the event that the introduction of a new flag appears desirable or necessary as the result of statutory or regulatory action, it must be approved by the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration (CFO/ASA).

.02 A request for a new flag shall be submitted to the Office of Administrative Operations. That Office, working in conjunction with the General Counsel, shall arrange for a United States Patent and Trademark Office search to ensure that the proposed flag does not infringe on an existing design. The Office of Administrative Operations shall then transmit the flag request to the CFO/ASA for final approval.

SECTION 7. EFFECT ON OTHER ORDERS.

This Order supersedes Department Administrative Order 201-6, dated June 12, 1986, as amended.

Signed by: Secretary of Commerce

Office of Primary Interest: Office of Facilities and Environmental Quality

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Page last updated:April 7, 2010