By an unknown artist, 1916
Gouache on pape 12" x 16"
National Archives and Records Administration, General Records of the U.S.
President's Flag In 1882 a Navy Department general order prescribed
a Presidential flag showing the coat of arms of the United States on a
blue field; in 1898 the Department of War designed a different flag for
the President; and by 1901 there was considerable debate between the services
over which flag was official. In 1915 a reporter spotted the two flags
at a Presidential review and again raised the question of which standard
was correct. This time Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels wrote to
Secretary of War Lindley Garrison and suggested a new design. On May 29,
1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed Executive Order 2390 setting sizes
and proportions for all U.S. flags. Attached to the order was a new design
for a Presidential flag. It showed the Presidential seal in its center
on a blue background with a white star in each of the four corners. The
flag remained unchanged until 1945 when President Harry Truman altered
the design so that the seal is surrounded by a circle of white stars,
one for each state in the Union.