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Virginia Beach, Virginia (U.S.)

Independent City

Last modified: 2018-07-26 by rick wyatt
Keywords: virginia beach | virginia | police department | rescue squad |
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[Flag of the Virginia Beach, Virginia] image(s) by permission of David B. Martucci
image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright.



See also:


Current Flag

Text and image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright. Image(s) from American City Flags by permission of David B. Martucci.

Design

The flag of Virginia Beach centers the city seal on a light blue field. The edge of the seal, in gray, appears to be scalloped, but is in fact made up of 39 tiny marlins linked nose-to-tail counterclockwise, enclosing a white ring around the seal. The inner edge of the ring is composed of a wreath of 54 gray strawberry leaves, half counterclockwise and half clockwise. On the white field between the ring’s two edges, beginning at 9 o’clock and ending at 3 o’clock, is • CITY • OF • VIRGINIA • BEACH • VIRGINIA • in gray. Between the same two points, running counterclockwise, is LANDMARKS OF OUR NATION’S BEGINNING, in gray letters about half the size of the first legend. The central portion of the seal depicts the Cape Henry lighthouse, in a dusty rose with gray shadings. It stands on a rocky shore, a dark gray fading into white beach at either side. An aquamarine sea is behind the lighthouse, its horizon line at the midpoint of the seal. On the upper hoist side is an orange sun with rays emanating from it. The sky is a light blue, and white clouds float overhead and on the horizon on the fly side. The diameter of the seal is about half the width of the hoist. The seal was officially adopted 21 January 1963.
Proportions: Indoor flags, 3:5; outdoor flags, 2:3 or 5:8 (usage).
John M Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Symbolism

The city describes the seal’s symbolism:
The Virginia Beach City Seal reflects our nation’s beginnings and highlights, Virginia Beach landmarks and features … Leaping marlins form its outer edge and represent sport fishing, boating, and other water activities. Strawberry leaves are linked together to create an inner circle, representing the importance of agriculture to the City. Bright sunshine and blue water join the sandy beach to show the importance of tourism and the pleasures of nature available to Virginia Beach residents and visitors. In the seal’s center is the Cape Henry Lighthouse and a white cross. The cross marks the first landing of settlers on this nation’s soil “Cape Henry” at Virginia Beach in 1607. The lighthouse is the first ever approved by the Continental Congress … The lighthouse and cross symbolize the beginnings of Virginia Beach and the United States. As the Cape Henry Light signals a safe haven, so its replica erected in 1881 beams a warm welcome to Virginia Beach, a vibrant year-round city.
John M Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Selection

On 24 June 1963, city council established a committee of three to develop a city flag.
Flag adopted: 11 January 1965 (official).
John M Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Designer

The committee, consisting of Richard B. Kellam, Laura Lambe, and A. R. Mailhes.
John M Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

More about the Flag

The original version of the seal clearly shows a white cross on the horizon on the fly side of the lighthouse (and is still part of the city code), but today that seems to have been replaced by clouds.
John M Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

I came across a photograph of a color guard carrying the Virginia Beach city flag in a parade. The photograph is from, I believe, 2012. Contrary to our current information, the city seal appears to take up almost the entire height of the flag, and not the 14/27 height mentioned previously. I don't know if this is an actual legal change to the depiction of the flag or simply a manufacturer's artistic license. The photograph can be found at www.vbgov.com/.../honorguard.jpg.
Randy Young, 9 June 2014


Police Department

[Flag of Virginia Beach Police Department] image by Randy Young, 25 September 2014

The flag of the Virginia Beach Police Department features the department's shoulder patch centered on a blue field. Above the patch in yellow sans serif letters are the words "DEPARTMENT OF POLICE," while the words "TO PROTECT AND SERVE" appear below the patch in similar lettering. photos.vachiefs.org.

Randy Young, 18 September 2014


Volunteer Rescue Squad

[Flag of Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad] image by Randy Young, 19 August 2016

The Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad is the primary emergency medical service for the city of Virginia Beach, Virginia. An all-volunteer service, it was established in 1952 and continues to provide services 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
source: www.vbvrs.org

The flag of the Rescue Squad can be seen in photographs online at the VBVRS Honor Guard website. The flag features the Rescue Squad logo in green and white centered on a white field. The logo itself shows a green cross within a white circle. A white ring, fimbriated green, circles the cross, and bears the words "VIRGINIA BEACH" and "RESCUE SQUAD" in green capital letters. The word "VOLUNTEER" appears in smaller green letters on a a white tab, fimbriated green, arched below the ring. Across the bottom of the flag below the logo are is the inscription "EST. 1952" in small, green, capital letters.

Randy Young

Randy Young, 19 August 2016