United States Vice Presidential Flag, 1948-1975.
In the early part of the 20th century, it became clear to the U.S. Department of the Navy that there was a need for a flag for the Vice President, particularly as successive VPs took on a greater ceremonial role beyond their sole Constitutional duty of presiding over the Senate. Although Navy signal books and regulations since the time of the Civil War had provided for the use of the national ensign or jack, flown at the fore, to signify the presence of the Vice President, there was no distinctive flag for his use until 1915.

In March of that year, a New York Times story reported that he would be given a flag showing a "bluebird" on a white field - apparently a reference to a blue eagle bearing the national arms - for his voyage to San Francisco aboard USS Colorado. Colorado's log for March 22 reports the hoisting of the Vice President's flag, as does the log for the Presidential yacht USS Mayflower for October 29, 1919. It was not until 1936, however, that a Vice President's flag was made official with the issuance of Executive Order 7285. This flag was essentially that of the President with the colors reversed. As with the President's flag of the time, the eagle faced the fly (sinister) rather than the hoist, as in the U.S. coat of arms.

This design was in use by the office of the Vice president from 1948-1975. It was gifted to Calvin Bullock or his son Hugh Bullock by one of the following vice presidents: Alben W. Barkley, Richard M. Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson, Hubert Humphrey or Spiro Agnew. To see other vice presidential flag please refer ZFC2586

Until the twentieth-century the Vice President was not charged with any substantial duties so there was little thought given to a flag for the office. The first Vice Presidential flag was created in 1915 as reverse of the Presidential Flag, the arms of the United States on a blue field with a white star in each corner, establishing the practice of a white field for the flag of the Vice President.

This design was adopted after the Presidential Flag was changed in 1945. In this version the blue stars are retained, but increased to thirteen, in honor of the original thirteen states, and arranged in a circle around the central emblem. Thus the Vice Presidential Flag now more closely resembled the flag of the President whose flag bore 48 stars, one for each state, in a circle.

The central emblem is a stylized version of the national arms, except that the olive branch and arrows have been reduced to one each, and the wings of the American eagle were now down swept. The text on the ribbon is the national motto "E PLURIBUS UNUM" (One Out of Many).

Never popular with the office holders it was often mocked. During the 1968 election, Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey answered those who complained that he had not done enough to promote peace in Vietnam by referring to this flag: "How can you expect me to be the No.1 peace man with just one little sprig of olive branch? You let me have a handful [as on the presidential flag he aspired to] and, believe me, you'll have peace."

In 1975 Vice President Rockefeller observed, that the eagle on the Vice Presidential flag looked like a sick chicken. This flag would be used from 1948 until 1975, when then vice president Nelson Rockefeller prevailed upon President Gerald Ford to order a change.

This US Vice Presidential flag was formerly part of the collection of Wall Street financier, businessman and promoter of Anglo-American goodwill Calvin Bullock. His 1 Wall street offices in New York City contained the world leading collections of memorabilia pertaining to Napoleon & Lord Nelson. In the 1930s he sought to collect Confederate Flags and during World War II he acquired a representative collection of US, British, French and other allied ensigns from his many international, military and naval acquaintances. After his death in 1944 his son, Hugh Bullock kept the flags on display as a memorial to his late father.

His son also continued the Calvin Bullock Forum, a nonpublic forum which invited speakers on topics of the day including, but not limited to politics, foreign affairs, economics, Wall Street, the military, the space program etc. Being invited top speak was considered an honor, and the speaker was given a memento and a special pin commemorating the event.

The following Vice Presidents (and maybe others) are known to have spoken at the Calvin Bullock Forum over the years -- Vice Presidents Richard M. Nixon, Hubert H. Humphrey, Gerald R. Ford, and John D. Rockefeller. George H. Bush (though he spoke in 1981 he could have given a decommissioned Vice President's flag to the Bullock family). Presumably one of the above gave the flag to the Hugh Bullock, as Calvin Bullock died June 21, 1944, before this design was established.

The Vice Presidents who utilized flags of this type were:
Allen Barkley (1949-1953)
Richard Nixon (1953-1961)
Lyndon B. Johnson (1961-1963)
Hubert Humphrey (1965-1969)
Spiro Agnew (1969-1973)
Gerald Ford (1973-1974)
Nelson Rockefeller (1974-1977).

Of these Nixon & Humphrey spoke at the Forum during the period 1947 to 1966.

Exhibition History:

Special Memorial Day Display
Flags on Easels in the Moraga Room and Moraga annex
Presidio of San Francisco's Officers Club
Memorial Day 2003

Private Showing
Night of Flags
In celebration of George Washington's Birthday
The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in California
Patriotic Services Committee
James Ferrigan, Curator, Flag Center
Ben Zaricor, Director, Flag Center
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Octagon House, San Francisco
5:30 pm 7:30 pm

Provenance:
• Office of the Vice-President, 1947-1966.
• Calvin Bullock Collection, Presented to Hugh Bullock Director of Calvin Bullock Forum, New York, New York, 1944-1966.
• By descent in the Bullock family until 1997.
• Purchased for the Zaricor Flag Collection by private treaty from the estate of Calvin Bullock, New York City, 1997.


ZFC Significant Flag
Item is Framed

Sources:



President, Vice President, and Cabinet Officers, Sea Flags, 4 November 2011, from: http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeohzt4/Seaflags/personal/SrOff.html#vpotus

Flag of the Vice President of the United States, Wikipedia, 4 November 2011, from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_the_Vice_President_of_the_United_States

Vice President (U.S.), Flags of the World, 31 October 2011, from:
http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/us-vpres.html

Vice President of the United States, The Institute of Heraldry, 4 November 2011, from: http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/Heraldry/ArmyDUISSICOA/ArmyHeraldryUnit.aspx?u=7105

Image Credits:
Zaricor Flag Collection


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