Last modified: 2002-09-28 by rick wyatt
Keywords: united states | finial |
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Usage in the U.S. military varies from service to service. Army, Air Force, and Marines use a nickel or chrome-plated spearhead as the finial for all flags, national, organizational, and personal/positional. The Army reg on flags AR840-10 provides for a spread eagle finial only for the President.
For indoor display, the Navy and Coast Guard use a brass battle-ax for the national flag. When flown on boats, the ensign is topped with a finial matching that used for the personal flag of the senior officer or official in the boat: a gilt spread eagle for an official rating a 19- to 21-gun salute (i.e., the Secretary of the Navy and Chief of Naval Operations and above), a brass halberd for other flag officers and civilian equivalents, a ball for a captain, a star for a commander, and a flat truck for lieutenant commanders and below. See Naval Regulations, Chapter 12.
All Presidentially-appointed/Senate-confirmed civilian officials in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, including the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Under Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries, General Counsel, and Inspector General use a spread eagle with both the national flag and their personal flags.
Joe McMillan, 14 June 1999