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Washington and Lee University (U.S.)

Lexington, Virginia

Last modified: 2017-12-22 by rick wyatt
Keywords: lexington | washington and lee university | university | virginia | united states |
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[Flag of Washington and Lee University] image by Randy Young, 11 November 2014

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Description of the flag

Washington and Lee University is in Lexington, Virginia. Originally founded in 1749 as Augusta Academy, a classical school for settlers in Virginia's lower Shenandoah Valley, George Washington endowed the it in 1796. The school was renamed in his honor, first as Washington Academy, and then in 1813 as Washington College. Following the conclusion of the American Civil War in 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee accepted the post of college president at Washington College. Following his death in 1870, the institution's name was changed to Washington and Lee University.

I found several photographs of the flag online, usually with articles about how the university's leadership has decided to remove all of the Confederate battle flags from Robert E. Lee's tomb on-campus. The decision has created quite a bit of controversy at the school and among the surrounding communities. The decision to remove the flags was reached in July 2014. An article about the decision can be read at ( A number of photographs are included with that article. One article shows eight of the authentic, original Confederate battle flags (Army of Northern Virginia pattern) surrounding Lee's sarcophagus. Another photograph shows a stand of flags outside the entrance to the tomb, including the American flag, the Society of the Cincinnati flag, the Washington and Lee University flag, and the Virginia state flag. (Another article from September 2014 can be read at

Based on the flag in the photograph, the flag of Washington and Lee University features the university's seal displayed as a coat of arms centered on a white field. The colors on the photographed flag appear different from the school's coat of arms as displayed on its website or on its Wikipedia page. I have drawn the flag in line with the colors in the photograph.

Randy Young, 11 November 2014


[Seal of Washington and Lee University] image located by Paul Bassinson, 6 December 2017