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Department of Transportation (U.S.)

Last modified: 2016-03-31 by rick wyatt
Keywords: transportation | departmental | united states |
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[Department of Transportation flag with white back]
White Background
image by Randy Young, 1 February 2015
    [Department of Transportation flag with white back]
Gray Background
image by Randy Young, 30 January 2015
based on photo

See also:


The flag is "DOT Blue", apparently a special shade of blue. The Deputy Secretary's flag is the same design, with red background, and the Assistant Secretaries' and General Counsel's are the same design with a golden yellow ("Spanish Yellow") background. There are no stars, as on many other department official's flags. The Department flag is white with the logo in DOT blue and the lettering in "Warm Gray".
Jack Kowalski, 29 September 1999

Senior DOT officials' flags are flown aboard Coast Guard cutters, boats, and stations during official visits, just as Department of Defense and Department of the Navy officials' flags are flown aboard U.S. Navy ships, boats, and stations.
Joe McMillan, 6 September 1999

BTW, our DOT departmental flags are slightly wrong. Some years back, the department changed the shade of blue from the grayish color shown on our pages to "ultramarine blue," roughly our B (RGB 0:0:255).
Joe McMillan, 30 March 2005

Historical flag

[Department of Transportation Historical flag] image by Randy Young, 18 January 2015
based on photo located by Jan Mertens, 14 November 2008

According to the DOT's history page, the department became active on 1 Apr 1967: and as to the logo: "February 1, 1967, the DOT seal - with a triskelion representing air, land, and sea - was adopted", quote from

The triskelion appeared on a red disk surrounded by the words (in red): 'DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION' (top) and 'UNITED STATES OF AMERICA' (bottom); on each side, a little five-pointed star, also red, appeared between the two names.

Then, in 1980 (same source), "DOT began using its new logo; DOT offices (...) did not use the new memorandum and letter paper until they had exhausted the older stocks." White triskelion between blue commas (no disk) and names in grey around it.
Jan Mertens 14 November 2008

Secretary of Transportation

[Secretary of Transportation] image by Joe McMillan, 30 March 2005

Deputy Secretary of Transportation

[Deputy Secretary of Transportation] image by Joe McMillan, 30 March 2005

Assistant Secretaries of Transportation

[Assistant Secretaries of Transportation] image by Joe McMillan, 30 March 2005

Award Pennant

[Award pennant]

I was at the US Coast Guard headquarters building yesterday and happened on a display of photos of Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta presenting the Secretary of Transportation Outstanding Unit Award pennant to Coast Guard units that were involved in responding to 9/11 last year. This is an award that has existed for quite a while, but the USCG press release on last month's ceremony said this was the first presentation of a pennant to symbolize it.

The award falls between the Presidential Unit Citation and the Coast Guard Unit Commendation in the hierarchy of awards, so the pennant will presumably be flown that way aboard Coast Guard cutters and stations.

The pennant is a long white swallowtail, the same shape as the Navy's Presidential Unit Citation pennant, with dark blue, red, and black stripes as shown in the attached Coast Guard photograph taken from the photo library  on the Coast Guard website, The orange vertical stripe at the hoist is, I believe, merely the heading, not part of the pennant design, and the gray "O" on the center of the pennant indicates that it was awarded for actual operations.
Joe McMillan, 9 October 2002