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I HAD SUCH HIGH HOPES for you, after you corrected so many misinterpretations about the D.C. seal. But Clara Jeffery blew it.
Yes, the D.C. flag is patterned after part of the design that George Washington had on his bookplate, which you reprint in “Washington’s Mundane Mysteries No. 5” (The District Line, 10/28). But you refer to it as the Washington “family crest.”
Wrong. The crest is on the top part of the design, above the crown. The Washington family crest is, in fact, the bird.
The part of the design that was later used for the D.C. flag has a different name. What is that name? Well, here’s your chance to learn something new. Go to your nearby public library and look up books on “heraldry.” If, after doing this research, you can’t find what it’s called, check back with me and I’ll help you out. But see if you can figure it out on your own.
Capitol Hill, via America Online