Without either a local or self government, the District of Columbia DC was very slow to develop a seal or flag of its own. The first seal, designed in 1871 by the Legislative Assembly of the District, included representations of the Capitol building, the American eagle, the figure of Justice, and George Washington. Over the next number of years, several unofficial flags were flown displaying the seal. In 1920, a commission was established to choose a unique design for the flag of the District of Columbia. Under the guidance of A. E. Dubois, the final design was approved on October 15, 1938. The design was based on the shield from the coat of arms used by the Washington family.
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