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by Steve Stringfellow, 1 July 1998
There has been no change to the design of the U.S. President's flag since the basic design was adopted in 1945 and modified for 49 stars in 1959 and 50 stars in 1960. Until recent years when screen-printed flags were used, automobile flags were appliqued or embroidered. This can become very costly when the flags wear out so rapidly on a moving vehicle!
Nick Artimovich, 16 May 1997
To amplify Nick's comments about the automobile flags: a few years ago, I was approached by someone who wanted to do a movie and needed a presidential car flag. What I found out was that you must have an authorization from the White House before you can purchase one. The person I spoke to, who had sold one previously, said that the 12" x 18" flag sold for $300!!!
Rick Wyatt, 14 January 1999
In the book "History if the United States Flag" by Milo Quaife, Melvin Weig, and Roy E. Appleman, they give the complete history of the U.S. Presidental flag. In 1945, the ideal of the current flag, with the stars around the eagle, was first used. July 4th, 1949 was the first date when the 49-star Presidental flag was used. President Eisenhower enacted Executive Order No. 10860 on February 5, 1960, creating the current presidental flag and CoA. This what it said about the flag:
Flag base-blueThe reverse of the flag is a mirror image, but the motto is still readable from left to right. And the dimensions are to be sizes to fit the customs of the military.
Stripes-white and red
Wings, body, upper legs- shades of brown
Head, neck, tail-white,shaded gray
Beak, feet, lower legs-yellow
Talons-dark gray, white high lights
Arrows- white shaded gray
Leaves, stem-shades of green
Clouds-white, shaded gray
Scroll-white with gray shadows
Fringe on the U.S. Presidential Flag is Silver and Gold as per Executive Order # 10860. Fringe can be either actual gold and silver bullion or as is now done a synthetic substitute. Fringe is used only on Presidential Colors. Flags flown from halyards or fixed flag poles do not get fringe. Fringe has been required on U.S. Presidential flags since 1898. The most recent specification dates from 1960. The fringe is also used on the President's auto flags. In this case however it is white and gold.
James J. Ferrigan III, 25 June 1998
Until the Defense Clothing Factory closed in September 1993, I headed the organization that (among other things) made the hand embroidered personal flags of the President and Vice President of the U.S. Each was completely hand embroidered by seamstresses using a mirror stitch - never seeing the reverse side of the ensign until the obverse was completed. The final sewing step was to attach the imitation gold and silver bullion fringe - made only by a NY company in Long Island. The fringe used to be real gold and silver in "the old days." Even so, we bought the fringe by the five yard piece and the last cost I remember paying was $1996 - for enough to do one flag. We typically made four flags like this each year, and up to ten in an inaugural year. What becomes of them all no one really knows - except I have seen one listed in an estate sale for a major old-time Democratic donor. I wouldn't be surprised if a number of our Chief Executives haven't disposed of them in this manner. I also remember seeing one in an office of a former national security advisor to the Johnson administration, while he was being interviewed on a public TV special.
Frank V., 19 June 1999