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Fredericksburg, Virginia (U.S.)

Independent City

Last modified: 2022-11-19 by rick wyatt
Keywords: fredericksburg | virginia | police department |
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[Flag of Fredericksburg, Virginia] image by Masao Okazaki, 13 October 2022

See also:

Description of the flag

The picture and information about this flag was sent to me by the office of the city administrator. In 1971, the City of Fredericksburg adopted a series of heraldic images and symbols based on ones created and suggested by Colonel Harry D. Temple, USA (ret.). Col. Temple suggested that the city adopt first a coat-of-arms that he designed. Following the coat-of-arms were a badge, seal, flag, mayoral chain, mayoral mace, and distinguished service medal all based on the design of the arms. The official description of the flag, included in the documents I was sent:

"By tradition the heraldic flag, as a medieval banner, uses the design of the shield of the coat of arms spread over its entire surface.

The flag which is illustrated here, in rayon banner cloth, would be used for formal display purposes, as on the stage of an auditorium and with the stand of colors behind the Mayor's and other high ranking city officials' desks. For this particular use the dimensions of four feet four inches by five feet six inches have been used. Nearly two hundred years of ceremonial use by the Army has proved that size to be the move practical and popular.

For outdoor flying this same design may be adapted to any size or proportions which may be desired. The fringe would be omitted and nylon wool bunting would be used.

The basic design could be used for trumpet banners for a City band or ceremonial unit.

When this design is appliquéd through the flag both sides at the same time, a proper presentation will result on each side. There will be no 'backwards' problem on the reverse side other than the cross on the Crown of Charlemagne, which really is inconsequential for flag use.

As a substitute for the metallic tinctures of the coat of arms, yellow represents gold (Or) and white represents silver (argent). This is an accepted practice in heraldry."
There is also a description of the symbolism in the coat of arms, which is proper here for understanding the design of the flag:
"The two feathers are taken from the Badge of the Prince of Wales to memorialize Prince Frederick, the eldest son of King George II of England, for whom the City of Fredericksburg was named. The feathers are gold for the glory with which Fredericksburg has honored its proud heritage.

The small red shield with a golden Crown of Charlemagne is taken from the arms of the Royal House of Hanover in commemoration of the naming of the early streets of the City for members of that royal family.

The background of the shield is silver, symbolizing the idealism and sacrifice of our Revolutionary War, in recognition of the many patriots which the City of Fredericksburg furnished to that cause.

The blue saltire is from the Battle Flag of the Confederate Army, as a memorial to Fredericksburg's epic role in the War Between the States."
Randy Young, 29 October 2000 Photos of the flag can be seen on the website of the flag store, Bald Eagle Industries:
Image above traced from a straightened version of this photo from Reddit:
Masao Okazaki, 13 October 2022

I regularly see two slight variations of the city flag whenever we go downtown. The only two flags that I tend to see flown in public are at the Fredericksburg City Police Department headquarters and then in front of the Fredericksburg City Courthouse. And both of those flags have variations, leading me to wonder which is the official version as adopted by the city council.

The flag flown by at the Fredericksburg City Police Department headquarters is identical to the graphic provided by Masao, with the ends of the saltire coming to rest not in the corners of the field but flat on the top and bottom edges of the field and with the design and size of the gold ostrich feathers as depicted.

However, the flag flown in front of the courthouse is more similar to my original graphic from 22 years ago, with the saltire ending in the corners and the ostrich feathers appearing to take up more of the saltire and with what I can only describe as a "fluffier" or "rounder" appearance to them.

I have a feeling that the difference between the two may simply be a difference in whichever manufacturer the city contracted with for those flags.
Randy Young, 13 October 2022

City Seal

[City Seal of Fredericksburg, Virginia] image by Randy Young, 29 October 2000

Police Department

The city of Fredericksburg is an independent city of the Commonwealth. Under Virginia law, independent cities essentially function as their own counties, being responsible for carrying out many of the same duties and functions as a county, including law enforcement. Also under Virginia law, only sheriffs and duly deputized officers are permitted to execute certain law enforcement functions, such as working in the courts, booking offenders into jails and other holding facilities, and serving certain classes of warrants. Because of that, all independent cities in Virginia will have at least a sheriff's office, though nearly all will have both a police department to carry out law enforcement functions and a sheriff's office for the more judicial aspects.

The Fredericksburg Police Department is responsible to "protect the right of all citizens to live in peace and safety by enforcing the law and maintaining social order, and by protecting property from unlawful destruction and theft. The department seeks to enhance the quality of life in our city through problem solving strategies and community partnerships."

According to Fredericksburg Police Chief David Nye, the Fredericksburg Police Department has no unique flag of its own. For ceremonial purposes the department uses the Fredericksburg city flag.

Randy Young, 18 June 2014

Sheriff's Office

The city of Fredericksburg is one of those municipalities that has both a Sheriff's Office and a Police Department. The Fredericksburg Sheriff's Office "provides protection and assists anyone in the confines of the Fredericksburg city limits; assists the Fredericksburg Police, Virginia State Police, as well as the surrounding county sheriff offices; serves civil and criminal documents; and provides security and protection to the judges, court clerks, and the citizens while in the Fredericksburg Courthouse."

According to First Sergeant David Sullivan of the Fredericksburg Sheriff's Office, the sheriff's office does not have its own unique flag. Like the Fredericksburg Police Department, the sheriff's office relies on the Fredericksburg city flag for representation during certain ceremonies.

Randy Young, 19 June 2014

Saint Michael the Archangel High School

[Flag of Saint Michael the Archangel High School, Virginia] image by Randy Young, 12 October 2018

Saint Michael the Archangel High School is a private, Catholic high school located in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, in the suburbs of Fredericksburg. The school was founded in 2003 and is the only Catholic high school serving the greater Fredericksburg area with 98 students in four grade levels. (

Recently, I  noticed that they have begun flying a school flag in addition to the US and Vatican flags that they normally fly. The school flag features the school's logo centered on a red field. The logo shows a sword and white winged orb in a blue circle. A red capital "M" is printed in front of the sword's hilt. On a red ribbon arched above the sword and orb are the words "SAINT MICHAEL HIGH SCHOOL" in white capital letters. A second red ribbon arches across the blade of the sword bearing the school's motto – "QUIS UT DEUS?" – in similar white capital letters.
Randy Young, 12 October 2018

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