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Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (U.S.)

Last modified: 2016-01-07 by rick wyatt
Keywords: allegheny county | pennsylvania |
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[Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Flag] image by Jens Pattke, 28 November 2015

Known Flag - indicates flag is known.
No Known Flag - indicates it is reported that there is no known flag.

Municipal flags in Allegheny County:

See also:

Description of the flag


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 USA.
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 where there is a nice picture of the Allegheny County flag.
Edwin D. Floyd, 29 January 2005

The Seal

[Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Flag] image by Erik Bell, 4 January 2008

The website at reports:

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