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Georgetown University (U.S.)

District of Columbia

Last modified: 2010-08-13 by rick wyatt
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[Georgetown University flag] image by Joe McMillan

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Description of the flag

Founded in 1789 by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) as a Catholic alternative to the existing colleges in the United States, almost all run by various Protestant churches at the time. Georgetown now enrolls about 13,000 students and has a very strong academic reputation. The flag is dark blue with the university seal in gold surrounded by a narrow gold orle. The seal depicts an eagle displayed supporting a globe in one talon and holding a cross in the other, with a lyre above its head. In the eagle's beak is a scroll inscribed "Utraque unum" ["from both, one"] and on the rim of the oval surrounding the eagle is the inscription "Collegium Georgiopolitanum ad Ripas Potomaci in Marylandia," translating as Georgetown College on the Banks of the Potomac in Maryland. (At the time the university was established, the District of Columbia had not yet been created.)

The motto "Utraque unum" ["from both, one"] is a Biblical quotation from Ephesians 2:14-- "ipse est enim pax nostra qui fecit utraque unum," translated in the King James Version as "For he [Christ] is our peace, who hath made both one."  In the context, Paul seems to be referring to the Jews and the Gentiles being made one people.

For Georgetown, however, I found this official interpretation at

"The University seal, designed about 1803, and adopted as our corporate seal in the congressional Incorporation in 1844, bears witness constantly to our spirit of Americanism. Modeled on the Great Seal of the United States, the seal of Georgetown pictures the American eagle, bearing on its breast the escutcheon of the Union. The left talon holds a cross, a symbol of Christendom, the right a terrestrial globe surmounted by calipers, signifying the natural and social sciences. Over the head of the eagle is a lyre, traditional symbol of the liberal arts and in the beak a scroll bearing the words "Utraque Unum." The meaning is clear upon reflection: "religio" - the sum of man's relationship with God, "Scientia" - the sum of his search for truth in the natural order. Together they fashion man to his true destiny - a life of service to God and country."
Joe McMillan, 9 January 2004