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D.C. Taxation Without Representation flag (U.S.)

Proposal abandoned December 2003

Last modified: 2010-11-06 by rick wyatt
Keywords: district of columbia | taxation without representation | washington dc |
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[No Taxation without Representation flag of D.C.] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 12 June 2008
Proposal abandoned December 2003

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Description of the flag

There is a movement in the DC to change the DC Flag as shown here. Another proposal does not show any lettering on the central star. DC is protesting the fact that it has no voting representatives in Congress. It's a reference to the fact that the citizens enjoy some lesser rights than those who live in Maryland or Virginia. The phrase is currently on the DC license plates.
Phil Nelson, 21 May 2002

Some additional and legal information follows. This is primarily a "protest flag" and designed as a "temporary measure". Since government moves so swiftly... well it could last a long time.

The bill is B14-0647 and is next scheduled before the committee for a public hearing on June 14 and introduced on April 16. Council-members Phil Mendelson, Sharon Ambrose, Harold Brazil, David Catania, Kevin Chavous, Jim Graham, Jack Evans, Adrian Fenty, and Chairperson Linda Cropp introduced the following bill, which was referred to the Committee.

To promote the cause of full voting representation for the citizens of the District of Columbia in the United States Congress by redesigning the flag of the District of Columbia to include the words "DC" and "TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION" within the flag.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this act may be cited as the "District of Columbia Flag Redesign Act of 2002".

Sec. 2. The flag of the District of Columbia shall be 3 red stars above 2 red horizontal bars on a field of white.
(a) Centered within the middle star shall be placed the language "DC";
(b) Centered within the 2 red horizontal bars in white lettering shall be placed the following language: (1) "TAXATION WITHOUT" in the first bar; and (2) "REPRESENTATION" in the second bar.

Sec. 3. Fiscal impact statement.
The Council adopts the fiscal impact statement in the committee report as the fiscal impact statement required by section 602(c)(3) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Official Code 0 l-206.02(~)(3)).

Sec. 4. Effective date.
This act shall take effect following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council to override the veto), a 30-day period of Congressional review as provided in section 602(c)( 1) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat.813; D.C. Official Code $5 1-206.02(c) (l)), and publication in the District of Columbia Register.

submitted by Phil Nelson, 22 May 2002

The phrase, it should be noted, dates back to the Revolutionary War, and referred then to the taxes levied against the American colonies by King George III of Britain.
Steve Kramer, 22 May 2002

The DC act was approved on July 2, 2002 by a vote of 10-2 with 1 absent.  Following it, the DC Council set up a flag design committee to develop the final specifications in the event that the flag is not derailed by Congressional review.  The committee report would be due before the end of the year, in the November-December timeframe, at the latest.
Phil Nelson, 27 August 2002

According to the DC Council website, the legislation on the "Taxation without Representation" flag was sent to Congress on November 14. If not rejected, the effective date of legislation would be December 30. I have an e-mail request to the Mayor's office in regards (individual use) whether display of the flag, like the license plates, will be optional (in other words if the flag use will be cs*/cs* or *s*/*s* or unique combinations in between).
Phil Nelson, 25 November 2002

When I checked the Congressional website the other day, I was disappointed that the District of Columbia Subcommittee pages had not been updated for some time. The information below is based upon what is available at the DC Council website.

First, if Act 14-516 is still active (and it appears that way) it would likely complete Congressional review by Tuesday of next week (March 18). The effective date of the legislation is March 25, 2003.

In reviewing the legislation, the final text approved by the DC City Council restates current law regarding the official flag of the District of Columbia. It also notes a new Section 172 in the DC Code which would add the language to the flag (the legislation would add the lettering "DC" to one of the central star, and "Taxation Without Representation" to the red stripes). Section 172 does have expiration provisions as well as dates of flying. The law would come into effect 90 days after the effective date of the legislation (and that is where only a lawyer can determine the intent), but not earlier than the Flag Advisory Commission (established under Resolution 15-8) has completed their work (latest date in early April). I have not yet found their report.

The flag will not replace representations presently in use on letterhead, motor vehicles or other objects (including automobiles).

Phil Nelson, 14 March 2003

According to today's Washington Post, the prospect for the "No Taxation" flag which has been under consideration for over a year in the District of Columbia is now eroded. In other words, the current DC flag will continue to fly.
Phil Nelson, 6 December 2003

An interesting quote from this article (referring to D.C. Councilman Vincent B. Orange, who opposed the change): "Orange, noting that vexillologists have panned the design, said that the flag 'is a symbol of pride, and the design they have would demean that symbol.'" How 'bout that -- people are listening to us!

Curiously, the article includes a graphic of the proposed new flag, which shows the red bars ending well short of the edges. However, a photograph of the proposed design in the same article appears to show the bars extending to the edges, just like the current flag.
Peter Ansoff, 6 December 2003