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Protocol

The Office of Protocol and International Affairs provides advice on numerous protocol issues including proper display of flags, use of the seal of the District of Columbia and order of speakers in programs. The office also selects appropriate gifts to present to international visitors, records the gifts given to the government for annual reports to the State Department, approves initial steps for international travel and provides other advice on matters of protocol such as forms of address.

Flag Protocol

DC Flag Protocol Manual [PDF]  

DC Seal Protocol

Corporate Seal of the District of Columbia

The Secretary is the official custodian of the Corporate Seal of the District of Columbia.  The Seal consists of a circular design with the words “DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA” stretched across the top inside portion in an arc.  The Seal includes two human figures which are the likeness of George Washington and a blindfolded female figure holding a wreath in her right hand and a stone tablet with the word ‘CONSTITUTION,” in her left hand.  The Seal also contains a depiction of the United States Capitol, several agricultural products, an eagle in a war stance, a train locomotive crossing the Potomac River, emblazoned by a radiating sun and trailed by several rail cars.

Use of the Seal

It is the policy of the District of Columbia government that the use of the Corporate Seal of the District of Columbia is prohibited, except by permission obtained from the Secretary of the District of Columbia.  The display or use of the District of Columbia Seal is restricted to an official purpose as approved by the Secretary.  All requests for permission to use or reproduce the Seal of the District of Columbia must be submitted in writing to the Secretary prior to its use by an agency head for any purpose.  Determinations about the use of the Seal are solely within the discretion of the Secretary of the District of Columbia.

For additional information about the restrictions on the use of the Seal, contact the Office of the Secretary of the District of Columbia or review Mayor’s Memorandum 89-47.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Service Contact: 
Office of the Secretary; Patricia Elwood, Director
Contact Phone: 
(202) 727-6306
Contact Fax: 
(202) 727-3582
Contact TTY: 
711
Contact Suite #: 
Room 419
Office Hours: 
9 am to 5:30 pm