Imagine flying into the nation’s capital and being awestruck by the magnificent U.S. Capitol Building, with its brilliant white walls gleaming in the sun. As you get closer, a fluttering flag atop the dome catches your eye. Do you know that hundreds of American flags fly at such an essential federal building in a single day?
You might be wondering why so many flags, right? The answer might surprise you. Most of these flags are flown at the request of private citizens who want to honor loved ones or organizations. It’s a powerful and profoundly patriotic way to express pride in our country and all that it stands for. But how did this beautiful tradition begin?
History of flying the flag over the Capitol
Back in 1937, a forward-thinking member of Congress reached out to the Architect of the Capitol with an idea. “Let’s keep the flag flying high and proud at all times.” The tradition of giving out flags to various honorees was born there. Congressmen had already been flying flags on U.S. holidays and started sending them to each other once they’d been flown. But it wasn’t long before everyday citizens caught wind of this awe-inspiring tradition and started making their own requests.
As people spread the word and made requests, the authorities set up a special office to handle all flag-related inquiries. And on the Fourth of July in 1976, the U.S. Capitol flew an unbelievable 10,471 flags in a single day. That’s right – over 10,000 flags, all atop the Capitol, blowing proudly in the wind. People had written to their congressional representatives requesting flags for the country’s bicentennial, and the response was nothing short of amazing.
The Capitol’s Architect
Get ready to hold a piece of history in your hands! The Architect of the Capitol has the prestigious duty of distributing flags to those who request them. And the process is more straightforward than you might think. First, reach out to your U.S. Senator or Representative. You can easily find their contact information on the United States online Senate or House directories.
Once you’ve made your request, get ready to pay for your piece of American history. The cost depends on the size of the flag, with a 4 x 6 nylon flag costing about $18 and a 5 x 8 cotton flag running about $28. There’s also an additional $20 to cover shipping and handling. Expect to wait six to eight weeks for your request to be processed and about six weeks after the flag has flown atop the Capitol for it to arrive in your hands.
But wait, there’s more! Not only will you receive the flag you requested, but you’ll also get a certificate of authenticity personally signed by the Architect of the Capitol Building. Imagine showing off this piece of history to your friends and family, proudly displaying your love for your country and dedication to honoring those you hold dear. So what are you waiting for? Contact your Senator or Representative today to get your own American flag flown atop the Capitol.
Your next gift, sorted
For those who have served in the military or have loved ones who have, displaying a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol can be a deeply meaningful gesture. It’s a way to honor the sacrifices made by those who have defended our nation’s freedom and to show pride in the values that they have fought to protect. When you display a flag flown over the Capitol, you’re not just displaying a symbol – you’re showcasing a piece of history. You’re showing that you believe in the ideals of our nation and that you’re proud to be an American. And when you look at that flag, you can feel a sense of connection to the brave men and women who have fought to defend it.
Want more flag details? Here’s the world’s largest American flag.