UNITED STATES COAST GUARD
 


 

ENSIGNS & FLAGS    1945-79
 

After World II control of the US Coast Guard reverted from the Department of the Navy to the Department of the Treasury (1946). Cutters shed their wartime gray paint schemes in favor of traditional Coast Guard white, and on 6 April 1967 the service officially adopted the now-familiar diagonal Coast Guard "racing stripe" to distinguish its ships and aircraft. The Coast Guard Ensign had not been flown during the war by cutters operating under Navy operational command, though it was used by vessels performing specifically Coast Guard missions. It was modified in 1966 to change the rendition of the US Coat of Arms in the canton. The National Ensign and Union Jack had 48 stars until 1959; 49-star versions existed but were probably little used since in 1960 the current 50-star design replaced them.

During the war four-star rank had been authorized for the Commandant of the Coast Guard. From 1945 to 1979 the rank flag for a full Coast Guard admiral, blue with four stars and the Coast Guard insignia, was in effect the positional color of the Commandant. The Assistant Commandant (Vice Commandant from 1972) was a vice admiral and used the flag of that rank.

In 1967 the Coast Guard was transferred from the Department of the Treasury to the newly established Department of Transportation, where it remained until 2003 when it was transferred to the Department of Homeland Security. The Secretary of Transportation's color shown below was the design adopted in 1980 when the original flags and colors of the department were modified. For use at sea, flags of the same design of the colors but without fringe were authorized.
 



 

NATIONAL ENSIGN    1912-59


 

UNION JACK    1912-59

 

COAST GUARD ENSIGN    1915-66

 

COMMISSION PENNANT

 

POSITIONAL COLORS & RANK FLAGS

 

SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY

 

SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION

 

COMMANDANT OF THE COAST GUARD    1945-79
 

 

ASSISTANT COMMANDANT OF THE COAST GUARD    1945-72
VICE COMMANDANT OF THE COAST GUARD    1972-79

 

VICE ADMIRAL

 

REAR ADMIRAL (UPPER HALF)

 

REAR ADMIRAL (LOWER HALF)

 


 

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