G SPEC- Government Specified U.S. Flags

Discussion in 'US Flag Specs and Design' started by IwantGSPEC, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. IwantGSPEC

    IwantGSPEC New Member


    I am really interested in one of these G Spec flags. They are basically made to government specifications- mostly has to do with size *for example, in the 5 width flags: instead of 5' x 8' or 5' x 9,' they are 5 x 9.6" .**

    Does anyone know what is the best and most common material used in government/military? (I have seen cotton as well as nylon in these flags on online flag stores but heard polyester is strongest for flags in general. I do not see these G specs in poly though. You would think military would use durable.) Cotton is more traditional (and used for funeral service burial) but nylon seems good for all-purpose weather.

    Does anyone know what the general size range is of U.S. military flags..for example- around 9.6, 20 ft. or are they they really large- 20x 30??
    (btw, these are just estimate sizes.

    Also, what other manufactures for G Specs are there? I've only seen Valley Forge. I have nothing against VF , but want to see all options of G Spec.


    Please help. Thank you!! Anyone serve in the military or know much about the official ones.
  2. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Greetings, IwantGSPEC ! :D

    Welcome to the USA-Flag-Site Forums !

    So you want an American Flag that is designed and made according to U.S. Government Specifications (G-Spec), eh? :cool:

    GOOD !!! :D

    Unfortunately, I am NOT in any way, shape, or form an "expert" on "G-Spec" Flags. Fortunately, we have members here who are knowledgeable about such things.

    The LITTLE I do know about "G-Spec" Flags can be summed up as follows :

    Whatever sizes of Flags the Federal Government and/or Military Services use, as near as I can remember (depending on who is ordering them and for what purpose they'll be used for), they are usually "true" to the 1x1.9 "Hoist-To-Fly Ratio". [BTW : "Hoist" is the height of the flag (on the pole), and "Fly" is the length of the Flag.]

    MORE Flag Glossary Terms HERE :

    Government Specifications for U.S. Flags cover more (a LOT more) than just size. The "Specs" cover just about EVERYTHING that is part of, or in anyway connect to, that Flag.

    The Federal Government decides on the "specifications" ("specs") of the Flags it needs and puts those out for "bid". I'm pretty sure there is a comprehensive list of qualifications that determine which companies are allowed to bid on the Flag contracts.

    There are, of course, more companies than just "Valley Forge" that manufacture "G-Spec" Flags. Two others that come to mind are CF Flag and Annin & Co. I know that there are other companies that manufacture, or who have in the past manufactured, "G-Spec" Flags, I just can't remember them right off the top of my head right now.

    So be patient and hang in there! I'm sure one of our "experts" will be able to come to your aid and answer most, if not all, of your questions !!!

    Thank You for bringing your Flag-related question(s) to our Forums !!!

    Robin Hickman
  3. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Hello, IwantGSPEC,

    The Government Spec that defines the flag is DDD-F-416F, dated 31 March 2005. The specification has to do with lots more than size -- it includes the types of allowable materials, the type of stitching to be used, the breaking strength of the threads, the metal composition of the grommets, etc., etc., etc. Flags made to the specification are more difficult and expensive to manufacture, which is why they cost more (and why there aren't very many manufacturers who make them).

    An important thing to remember about this spec is that it applies only to flags that are purchased by the executive branch of the federal government. A flag isn't "illegal" or "unofficial" just because it doesn't meet the spec. The example I like to use is that the flags flying on the US Capitol building in Washington are *not* Government-spec -- Congress is not part of the executive branch.

    The sizes of flags used by the military are defined in Presidental Executive Order 10834, and repeated in the spec. There are 11 sizes, ranging from 20 x 38 feet (size 1) down to 1.32 x 2.5 feet (size 11). You can see a table of them here:

    Executive Order 10834

    The spec states that flags can be made of Cotton bunting, Nylon bunting (lightweight or heavyweight), Nylon and wool bunting, or Rayon banner cloth. There are instructions for the construction of the headers, the application of the stars (applique or embroidery, depending on the intended use of the flag), and so on.

    As I recall, there are only three manufacturers that make G-spec flags: Annin, Valley Forge and CF. (Nick or Amanda, can you elaborate?).

    I hope this answers your questions. Welcome to the forum!

    Peter Ansoff
  4. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hey, Peter !!!

    Is there a copy of "DDD-F-416F" somewhere on-line? :confused:

    I've looked all over the place and even though there are sites that REFER to "DDD-F-416F", and occassionally QUOTE from it, I haven't been able to find a copy of IT.

    Any guidance ??? :confused:

    THANX !!! :D


    PS. I believe that there are companies other than Valley Forge, CF, and Annin that have manufactured "G-Spec" Flags. I know I've "run across" a few during my travels around the internet, but I can't remember exactly "who" they are/were.
  5. IwantGSPEC

    IwantGSPEC New Member

    Thank you, Robin and Peter. :)
    This is helpful information.
    I did stumble into something else strange...GET THIS...
    Maybe it's a full moon...but..
    I've seen flags that were considered GSPEC and they were 5 x 9.6 (1:1:92) versus 1:1.9). Then, there are 5 x 9.5(1:1:9).
    What's he deal with this???
  6. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Welcome Back, IwantGSPEC ! :D

    QUOTE : "I did stumble into something else strange...GET THIS...
    Maybe it's a full moon...but..I've seen flags that were considered GSPEC and they were 5 x 9.6 (1:1:92) versus 1:1.9). Then, there are 5 x 9.5(1:1:9).
    What's he deal with this???" (Emphasis Added)

    It might have been the slip of a typing digit (finger)..... OR maybe the "9.6" was meant to convey the idea of "nine feet, six inches" (as in nine and a half feet) with the ".6" part of the "9.6" meant to mean "six inches".

    I've seen more than a few similar, and confusing, Flag size abbreviated notations "out there" on the internet. Mostly on eBay, I think.

    Still waiting to hear back from Peter about where to find an on-line copy of "DDD-F-416F" !!!

    Robin Hickman
  7. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

  8. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    maybe the "9.6" was meant to convey the idea of "nine feet, six inches" (as in nine and a half feet) with the ".6" part of the "9.6" meant to mean "six inches".

    I think that this is exactly what happened -- it would be an easy mistake to make.

    Still waiting to hear back from Peter about where to find an on-line copy of "DDD-F-416F" !!!

    Unfortunately, I don't think that the current version is available online anywhere. My real job gives me access to databases of government specs and such, and that's how I got it. It's too large to post here as an attachment, but I can email a copy to anyone who'd like one -- just send me a private message with your email address. The PDF is around 1M. Eventually, we may be able to get it posted on the forum "front page."

    Peter Ansoff
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2009
  9. I read that whole thing through - the DDD-F-416F...
    a while ago mind but I still remmeber.. its probably still on my old laptop saved...

    It was PDF document, and was about 30-35 pages in length, but as a flag enthuiast it interested me, and i read the entire thing.. Very interesting and educational..

    just goes to show how well planned the specification is, and how many different things define a G-SPEC flaG

    Companies have to be approved to be able to make g SPEC flags and have to be able to make them exactly to requirements
    As such there is only 3 companies that make them

    Valley Forge
    Annin and Co
    CF and co

    I have flags from all 3 companies, and I have G-SPEC flags from CF and co, and Valley forge...
    There is no difference in the quality of the flags- as this is specified by this government document, so the companies will follow them, and there will be a quality flag at the end of it, no matter which one of them makes it.

    As far as the differences in price, I am not sure, since I never bought any of my G-SPEC flags new- they were all bought on eBay.

    Some pictures of my g spec flags....

    this is an old comparison pic I did, 2 flags of similer size - the left side is a g spec flag, compared to a 'regular' flag on the right

    Heres me outdoors with one of my G SPEC flags

    Heres my 8ft 11 3/8 x 17ft G SPEC flag

    Heres another of my G spec flags- this one flew at a US army base in Kosovo.. Very interesting that the damage is only done on the white stripes.. The dye in the material alone must have protected the red and blue sections.....
  10. And finally my 4th and final G SPEC FLAG... LOOK AT THAT DAZZLING BLUE! when I saw this picture as it was on eBay, I just had to get this flag
  11. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Update! You can get the spec online. Go to this web site:


    Enter "DDD-F-416F" in the "Document ID" search block and click on the "submit" button. On the find screen, click on the document number and then scroll down to the list of documents. Be sure to select "F," which is the current version. Clicking on the PDF icon will bring up the document, which you can then read and/or save to your hard drive.

    ASSIST is the official database of US Government specs, so this is the "real thing."

    Peter Ansoff
  12. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member


    THANK YOU, Peter !!! :D

    I clicked on the link and did as you instructed and the search results were "0" (ZERO). :eek:

    YIKES !!! :eek:

    After a couple of seconds of head scratching, it occurred to me to remove the quotation marks and re-search.

    Found IT !!!

    ALL 29 pages and 1.03 MB of it !

    THANK YOU !!! :D

    Robin Hickman
  13. mattsaccount

    mattsaccount Member

    I've got a pretty nitpicky question about the spec, since I just bought a 5'x9'6" g-spec Valley Forge flag, but have observed that it's not quite "square." That is, if I (with someone's help :)) fold this flag "the long way," along the fly, it appears that the bottom of the flag is several inches shorter than the top. The result is that the top and bottom of the flag do not line up well when folded in half.

    The spec, as provided at Peter's link, says:
    My question is: how different can the length of the top and bottom of the flag be, particularly in the case of one that's 9'6" long? 9'6" = 114", so 114" * 0.02 = 2.28". If the bottom is 3" shorter than the top, is that out of spec? I don't care about the precise length of it--it's the fact that they are different because it's much harder to fold it decently.
  14. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hi, Matt ! :D

    I had always figured that after a flag had been flying for awhile, that it would naturally get "out of square". I have assumed that it would do so because the weight of the flag would be tugging at an angle NOT in line with, or perpendicular to, the warp and woof of the material. Also, any washing or cleaning of the Flag might contribute to the "tightening" or "stretching" of the material, at least to some small degree.

    BUT... a NEW Flag ? :eek:

    I don't have a clue. Come to think of it, there is another thread on here where the subject of "non-square" Flags came up. Unfortunately, I don't remember where it was or the title. I know Peter Ansoff made a comment and so did I. :cool:

    Good Luck !!! :D

    Robin Hickman
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
  15. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

  16. mattsaccount

    mattsaccount Member

    Interesting, the other thread is referring to the same issue I'm raising I think--though in my case it has nothing to do with the "bias cut" issue you'd brought up.

    I've made a graphic to make sure it's very clear:

    This picture compares what the flag "should" look like relative to what mine looks like. The effect in reality is not nearly so obvious, but the length of the fly on the bottom of the flag is definitely less than the length on the top. The result is that it's difficult to fold and have it line up properly. :(

    I wrote a note to Valley Forge but they never replied, and I contacted the vendor from whom I purchased the flag, but they didn't return my call :p I think the messages I left were quite cordial--I wonder if they just don't know?
  17. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hi, Matt ! :D

    When I brought up the "bias ply" issue in the "Why Are There So Many Diagonal Cuts?" thread, it was because that's what I thought was meant by the term "diagonal cuts". I do believe I was mistaken in that regard! :eek:

    In your case, it seems to me that it is more than likely a "manufacturing defect". I'm a little surprised that Valley Forge hasn't responded to your inquiry! :confused:

    With one end shorter than the other, I wonder if it flies with a "limp" ??? :eek:

    Good Luck with it !

  18. mattsaccount

    mattsaccount Member

    Yeah, I just contacted Valley Forge through the form on their website, but have not received a reply. I'll post back if I hear anything. :(
  19. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member


    GEE !

    It sure would be nice if the Valley Forge Flag Company had a TOLL-FREE "Customer Service" phone number !!! :eek:

    QUOTE : "Complete the form below to send us an email or call us at 800-352-4435."

    Sorry! I just couldn't help myself! Tee-Hee !!! :D

    From Valley Forge's FAQ Page : ( http://www.valleyforgeflag.com/44/FAQ.htm#D )

    Q: I purchased a Valley Forge Flag product and it is missing a part or the part is damaged. How do I get a replacement?
    A: When this occurs the consumer should contact Valley Forge Flag customer service at 800-352-4435. At this time the necessary parts will be sent to the consumer free of charge. You can also send an email to: info@valleyforgeflag.com. Be sure to include all pertinent information, including your mailing address.

    Again, GOOD LUCK !!! :D

  20. mattsaccount

    mattsaccount Member

    I suppose I could try the phone. I think it's been a bit over a week since I submitted my original inquiry. Thanks for the encouragement.

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