Last modified: 2005-03-12 by rick wyatt
Keywords: allegheny county | pennsylvania |
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by Antonio Teixeira, 18 January 2002
The flag features the county seal on a background of royal blue. The seal dates back to colonial days and features a shield bearing a ship, which symbolizes the vast commercial traffic which Allegheny County carries on; a plough, signifying subterranean and earth-related resources; and sheaves of wheat typifying the county's harvests, both agricultural and as a result of human industry. Surrounding the seal are a cornstalk signifying abundance; an olive branch which stands for peace; and an eagle, which denotes sovereignty.
Antonio Teixeira, 18 January 2002
As a life-long resident of Allegheny County, I can comment that it's usually
not common to see it flying, although when I have, the flag does not have the
ornate gold and darker blue/black (?) border around the edge as depicted. It
would seem that this ornate border was done by hand. I do see the flag flown
regularly at North Park, which I believe is county-maintained. The dimensions
seem to be 2:3 and the field is plain royal blue with the shield, eagle and
stalks at the center of the flag. These devices do not take up quite as much of
the flag's field as the example shown. To further elaborate on the ship as part
of the shield, Pittsburgh, the county seat, is the busiest inland port in the
John Evosevic, 11 December 2002
The coat of arms on the Allegheny County flag is that of the state of
Pennsylvania (minus the supporters), so the ship has nothing to do with
Pittsburgh in particular. Anyway, it would be strange to choose a three masted
sailing ship to symbolize a river port that was mainly served historically by
steamboats and currently by barges.
Joe McMillan, 11 December 2002
I found the text of a contract between Allegheny County and a flag company
regarding the purchase of County Flags. The contract called for two versions
(indoor and outdoor) of a 4x6 Allegheny County Flag. Both versions are described
as a dark blue nylon flag (the same blue as the Pennsylvania State Flag) with
the County Seal in the center. The only difference between the indoor and
outdoor versions is that the indoor version has a gold fringe around it.
Erik B., 23 January 2004
In contrast to Allegheny City, Allegheny County (in which Pittsburgh is
located) is still very much a real political entity, and it has a nice
attractive flag, which is actually displayed in quite a few places. For example,
it is one of four flags (United States, Pennsylvania, Allegheny County, and City
of Pittsburgh) displayed in front of the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh.) My
recollection is that the county flag is also displayed at Pittsburgh
International Airport. I think it is also the only county flag ever to be taken
to the moon - although the online information about this merely says it was the
first such county flag. For this, see
http://www.county.allegheny.pa.us/comm/flag.asp where there is a nice
picture of the Allegheny County flag.
Edwin D. Floyd, 29 January 2005
The Allegheny County Seal derives directly from the seal of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and is the same as the Pennsylvania State Seal in all essential details.
The origins of the Pennsylvania Seal hearken back to colonial days, when the seals of the colonial counties of Pennsylvania were formed by mounting a distinguishing crest upon the Penn coat-of-arms. The crest of the Chester County seal was a plough; the crest of Philadelphia County was a ship under full sail; and the crest of Sussex County, Delaware, which formed a part of Pennsylvania when a province, was a sheath of wheat. The seal of the City of Philadelphia bore on its shield both the sheaf of wheat and the ship in full sail. The present form of the Allegheny County Seal was decreed by the Pennsylvania Legislature more than 100 years ago, and the colonial emblems have remained, taking on new significance.
The ship symbolizes the vast commercial traffic which Allegheny County
carries on with the rest of the world. The plough signifies subterranean and
earth-related resources, thus emblematizing the agricultural and mining
activities of the county, and would also include the early glassmaking and other
domestic-related county industries. The sheaves of wheat typify the county's
harvests, both agricultural and as the result of human industry and initiative
in the areas of mining, manufacturing, and intellectual production. Surrounding
and surmounting the seal are a cornstalk, signifying abundance; an olive branch,
which stands for peace; and an eagle, which denotes sovereignty.
Antonio Teixeira, 18 January 2002