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Department of Agriculture (U.S.)

Last modified: 2022-08-27 by rick wyatt
Keywords: agriculture | departmental | united states |
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[Flag of the Department of Agriculture] image by Joe McMillan, 11 December 2001

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The use of Department of Agriculture flags is regulated by Department Regulation 5160-4, "Display and Use of the Flag," 12 June 1997, which unfortunately does not provide any information on designs and proportions. However, [kng49] depicts the Secretary's flag, which is also visible in part in various photographs on the department's website . In addition, the departmental flag is plainly visible flying above the departmental headquarters building on the Mall in Washington.

The Department of Agriculture flag is dark blue with the departmental seal, which depicts a blue shield with a green mound in the base, and thereon a shock of corn (maize) and a plow both proper. The shield is set against a dark blue circle with 44 white stars, representing the states of the Union at the time the seal was adopted. Below the shield is a scroll inscribed "1862 Agriculture is the foundation of manufacture and commerce 1889," 1862 being the date the department was originally established and 1889 the date it was given cabinet rank. Surrounding the shield is a ring with the name of the department in gold letters.
Joe McMillan, 11 December 2001

"Agriculture is the foundation of manufacture and commerce" is very close to the famous sentence attributed to Sully (1559-1641), the main minister of king Henri IV:
"Labourage et paturage sont les deux mamelles de la France" (Plowing and pasturage are the lifeblood of France). Sully probably never said that but anyway funded the agricultural development of the kingdom. He also modernized communications by funding channels and the Army by expanding the artillery. The agricultural sentence became a French mantra and highlights the deep rural traditions of the country. De Gaulle gave his personal version of the sentence by saying once "it is impossible to govern a country which has so many different kinds of cheese."
Ivan Sache, 12 December 2001

Secretary of Agriculture

[Flag of the Secretary of Agriculture] image by Joe McMillan, 11 December 2001

Secretary of Agriculture - Dark blue with the seal in the center and a white star in each corner. I have followed [kng49] in the size and spacing of the seal and stars. Shown in standard indoor dimensions of 52 x 66 inches with golden-yellow fringe. This flag was adopted in 1941.

The regulation states that "No agency or office within the USDA is allowed to design or fly any other flag or pennant as a means of agency identification without written approval of such flag or pennant from the Director, Office of Procurement and Property Management." I have found mention of two different flag designs used in the past by the U.S. Forest Service, part of USDA, but I do not believe one is in use officially today. There are, as far as I can learn, no personal flags for any USDA official other than the Secretary.
Joe McMillan, 11 December 2001

Construction sheet: Secretary of Agriculture
Created 12 September 1949.
    Base: Blue (Cable 70075)
    Stars: White (Cable 65005)
    Fringe: White (Cable 65005)

Dave Fowler, 9 July 2022

Subordinate Agencies

The US Department of Agriculture's flag regulation prohibits the adoption of flags for subordinate agencies of the department except with special approval. I've found references and descriptions of a flag formerly used by the US Forest Service, but not for any other part of USDA, and I'm not sure the Forest Service flag is still in use.
Joe McMillan, 30 November 2002

150th Anniversary flag

[150th Anniversary flag] image located by Dave Fowler, 2 May 2021

USDA celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2012. A special logo flag, white text on light blue was used.
Dave Fowler, 2 May 2021


[150th Anniversary flag] image located by Dave Fowler, 2 May 2021