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Public Health Service (U.S.)

Last modified: 2002-09-28 by rick wyatt
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[Public Health Service Flag] by Joe McMillan, 31 August 1999

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The U.S. Public Health Service wears Navy style uniforms, has a commissioned officer corps and falls within the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Public Health Service flag is yellow with a blue PHS seal centered on the flag. The diameter of the seal is 1/2 the hoist. In 52 x 66 inch size, with a blue fringe, it serves as the Corps color. In 10 x 19, 5 x 9 1/2, or 3.52 x 6.69 foot sizes, it flies over PHS posts that are commanded by other than flag officers (or if a flag officer is not present). In these cases, the PHS flag is the same size as the U.S. flag with which it is flown. On boats, it is either 32 x 48 or 24 x 36 inches, depending on the size of the boat, and flies at the starboard yardarm, unless a flag officer is aboard. In that case, the PHS flag is shifted to the port yardarm.

PHS flag officers hold one of four grades. Their flags are flown in lieu of the PHS flag at PHS posts under their command or to which they are paying official visits, as well as at the starboard yardarm of PHS vessels on which they are present. You might see them afloat in port areas, etc, since the PHS is the organization charged with enforcing health regulations for entry into the United States.
Joe McMillan, 31 August 1999

Sources: Personnel Instruction 1, "Public Health Service Flags and Automobile Plates," Subchapter CC29.9, Commissioned Corps Personnel Manual; Public Health Service insignia scanned and redrawn from Government Printing Office sheet of official seals and emblems.

Surgeon General

[Public Health Service - Surgeon General] by Joe McMillan, 31 August 1999

The Surgeon General is normally equivalent to a vice admiral, but, if serving concurrently as Assistant Secretary for Health, holds four-star rank. Either way, the SG's flag is blue with a white PHS corps device centered on it. It comes in the same sizes as the PHS flag as well as in an 18x26 inch size for automobiles. For indoor/ceremonial use, the SG's flag has white fringe, cord, and tassels. The auto flag also has a white fringe.
Joe McMillan, 31 August 1999

Deputy Surgeon General

[Public Health Service - Deputy Surgeon General] by Joe McMillan, 31 August 1999

The Deputy Surgeon General ranks as a rear admiral and flies a flag (us_dsg) identical to the SG's but with the colors reversed. The fringe for indoor/ceremonial flags is white and blue, the cord and tassels of intertwined blue and white cords. The fringe on the DSG's auto flag is plain blue.
Joe McMillan, 31 August 1999

Assistant Surgeons General

Assistant Surgeons General, who equate to either rear admirals or rear admirals (lower half), have the same flag as the DSG, but with blue fringe, cord and tassels. The ASG's auto flag has no fringe.
Joe McMillan, 31 August 1999

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