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Diplomatic and Consular Flags (U.S.)

Last modified: 2013-10-19 by rick wyatt
Keywords: united states | diplomat | consul |
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Description of flags and their uses

Flags used by U.S. diplomatic representatives abroad are referred to as "foreign service flags."

Foreign service flags are displayed inside U.S. diplomatic and consular posts and may be used on automobiles used by certain diplomatic officials. They are placed with the U.S. flag in the main reception-entrance of the mission and in the office of the principal officer of the post (ambassador at an embassy, consul or consul general at a consulate, etc.). Both the U.S. and foreign service flag are 35 by 66 inches. Those at the main entrance and in the chief of mission's office are trimmed with gilt fringe, cords, and tassels. The staff of the foreign service flag is topped with a gilt spearhead finial. Automobile flags are 12 by 18 inches.

Joe McMillan, 5 September 1999


Ambassadors and Ministers to Foreign Governments

[Ambassadors and Ministers to Foreign Governments] image by Joe McMillan, 5 September 1999

Ambassadors accredited to sovereign foreign governments: Blue with the arms of the United States in color on a white disk, encircled by 13 white stars. The same flag would be used by a minister accredited as chief of a legation, but all chiefs of U.S. diplomatic missions are now ambassadors.
Jack Kowalski and Joe McMillan


Chiefs of other Diplomatic Missions

[Chiefs of other Diplomatic Missions] image by Joe McMillan, 5 September 1999

Chiefs of other diplomatic missions (such as permanent representatives to the UN, EU, OAS, and NATO): White with the arms of the United States in color, encircled by 13 blue stars.
Jack Kowalski and Joe McMillan


Other Accredited Diplomatic Officers

[Other Accredited Diplomatic Officers] image by Joe McMillan, 5 September 1999

Other accredited diplomatic officers: Blue with 13 white stars (no disk, no coat of arms) in a circle. This is used only as an automobile flag when prescribed by the chief of mission for an officer representing the chief of mission at a ceremonial or official function or when dictated in circumstances of emergency for reasons of personal safety. For example, a charge d'affaires might use this flag in the absence of the ambassador if he/she were escorting a high-ranking U.S. official on an official visit.
Jack Kowalski and Joe McMillan


Consular Officers

[Consular Officers] image by Joe McMillan, 5 September 1999

Consular officers: Blue with a large white letter "C" encircled by 13 white stars. Displayed in lieu of the chief of mission's flag in the entry area and principal officer's office at a consulate general or consulate. May be displayed in the office of the head of the consular section of an embassy. Also displayed in the waiting room of the consulate. U.S. Navy Regulations paragraph 1274 authorize the display of this flag in the bow of a boat carrying a consular representative. The boat flag is 43 by 61 inches.
Jack Kowalski and Joe McMillan