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DC Vote Flag Proposal
June 13, 2003




Dorothy Brizill
Bonnie Cain
Jim Dougherty
Gary Imhoff
Phil Mendelson
Mark David Richards
Sandra Seegars


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DC‘ new battle flag Press release

Current DC flag
Current DC Flag

Proposed DC flag with No Taxation without Representation slogan
Proposed flag

DC's New Battle Flag in the Struggle for Equal Rights

Why change DC's flag?

Most Americans do not even know that DC residents do not have the right to vote in the Senate or in the House of representatives, or the right to control their local legislation, their local judicial system, or their local budget. Since Congress stripped DC residents of their birthright in 1801, Washington residents have never been able to give their consent on any federal issue because Congress has never provided a means for them to be counted. Furthermore, they are taxed without being represented. There are no principled reasons to keep DC citizens as a ward of the federal government without rights.

DC's flag is a powerful and beautiful flag, based on the shield of George Washington's family Coat of Arms. John Capozzi worked with DC Vote, Phil Mendelson and the rest of the DC City Council to 'temporarily' add the words "No Taxation Without Representation" and 'DC' to its flag, as it has done on its license plate.

To continue flying General Washington's shield over Washington, District of Columbia under these conditions is an insult to Washington's name and honor. DC has been a part of the Union for longer than most states why shouldn't DC citizens have the same rights as citizens

Who live in states? Washington, DC is the only capital in the democratic world that forbids residents of the capital district from having equal voting privileges in the national legislature.

George Washington fought a revolution for freedom and would clearly not support the way national leaders who have followed him have treated the area that bears his name. Until DC citizens win the same rights as citizens who live in states, DC should fly this flag so that it is unmistakably clear that we have a problem that requires national attention.

Show your support of the new flag by calling your City Council Member at 202.724.8000; and the Mayor at 202.727.1000; or you may write to them: The Wilson Building 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004

DC Vote is an educational and advocacy organization whose mission is to secure full voting representation in Congress for the residents of the District of Columbia.

Visit DC vote on the web at www.dcvote.org to learn all about the voting rights movement and history. You can also call our offices for more information about upcoming events, donating money by becoming a member or helping out as a volunteer.

DC Vote 
1500 U Street, NW 
Washington, DC 20009 
202.462.6000 office 
202.462.7001 fax 

DC Vote recognizes the special contributions of time and professional services by innumerable volunteers and supporters who have helped to take this idea from the drawing board to the flag pole! Very special thanks to John Capozzi, Jack Olender, Alan Heymann, Steve Glazerman, and Heidi Kotzain.

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DCVote Media Alert

For immediate release: 
June 13, 2003
For more information contact
Kevin Kiger, Communications Director
202.462.3319 direct

New DC Flag Ready

Flag Commission to Present City Council with Redesigned City Flag with Slogan: 'No Taxation without Representation'

Washington, DC - Today, Friday, June 13, at 12:00 noon, the District of Columbia Flag Redesign Advisory Commission will unveil their finalized design recommendations to the DC City Council and Mayor for a details of the newly redesigned District flag. The commission's report, which includes two similar design versions, will be presented and members of the DC City Council, DC Vote, and the Design Commission will speak. Marliyn Brown, Chairwoman of the Flag Redesign Commission and longtime community leader is expected to attend.

Last year DC Vote and its supporters were instrumental in moving through the Council the legislation that temporarily alters the city's flag design as a way of raising national awareness of the denial of equal rights to District residents. DC Vote was also instrumental in advocating for the inclusion of "Taxation Without Representation" on DC license plate.

"The denial of democracy to residents of the District of Columbia is America's dirty little secret," said Ilir Zherka, Executive Director of DC Vote. "Adding 'No Taxation without Representation' gives the District a new battle flag to expose the injustice. We are asking Americans to tell their members of Congress that democracy can no longer be denied to people living in the nation's capital."

"Any effort that helps educate America about ending the denial of civil rights in the District is a worthwhile and patriotic cause," said Jack Olender, Esq., Washingtonian and taxpayer. "Americans respond to what they see, and temporarily adding 'No Taxation Without Representation' to the DC flag will bring nationwide visibility to DC's disenfranchisement."

Who: DC City Council, DC Flag Commission, & DC Vote
What: Presentation to Council of DC Flag Redesign
When: Friday, June 13, 2003 at 1.2:00 noon
Where: Room 123, Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

DC Vote is an educational and advocacy organization whose mission is to secure full voting representation in Congress for the residents of the District of Columbia.

1500 U Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009 - 202.462.6000 - 202.462.7001 fax - www.dcvote.org 

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DCVote Remarks

Illr Zherka, DC Vote Executive Director

Raising a New Battle Flag for DC's Struggle Toward Democracy

Washington, DC, June 13, 2003 at 12:00 noon at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

"Good Afternoon. DC's Disenfranchisement is America's dirty little secret and the new flag will help expose it The capital of the free world is not free: Over 240 years after our founders promised an end to taxation without representation, District residents are taxed but not represented in the U.S. Congress.

"Surely the time has long since come for us to fulfill the promise of American democracy. But one major challenge for this campaign is ignorance about DC's status.

"When asked the question, "As far as you know, do citizens who live in Washington, DC, have the same constitutional rights as other U.S. citizens, including equal voting rights in Congress?" 46% answer "YES" we have equal voting rights. And that's among college graduates who were registered to vote.

"The good news is that once informed of the District's unequal status and asked whether DC citizens should have equal voting rights in the House and the Senate, 72 % said "YES" we should. [These polling numbers are from a survey conducted by Mark David Richards, of Bisconti Research, located here in Washington, DC.]

"So we know that education works and DC Vote has been working to educate Americans:

"Nearly three years ago, DC Vote helped the Mayor and the Department of Motor Vehicles inaugurate the new license plates. Today, more than 130,000 Washingtonians are driving around this city educating millions of tourists about our plight. And when these residents venture beyond the beltway, they carry our message across the nation.

"The time has come to send that message with our flag as well. Very soon we will raise a new battle flag in the struggle for DC voting rights. This new flag will send the message that DC residents are fed up with their disenfranchisement and want the world to know.

"The very act of Washington, DC changing its flag wilt be a national news story. It will be covered in newspapers. It wilt be discussed on radio talk shows. It will make cable and broadcast news. The new flag, once it is chosen, will have its critics, it will have its supporters, but at least in the debate that ensues, there will be education.

"Furthermore, the new flag is not only an opportunity to raise awareness, but it signals our commitment to fulfill the promise of democracy for which all of our founding patriots fought. Is it not ironic that the DC flag is modeled on George Washington's family shield? What would he say to know that the nearly 600,000 citizens whose city proudly bears his name are denied representation in the political body that rules them? Would the general who commanded the troops in a war fought over the very concept of taxation without representation accept our current inferior status?

"Finally, it is most fitting that we add the words of James Otis to the DC flag. Arguing before the Superior Court in Boston in 1761, he said that writs of assistance imposed on the Americans by the British were null and void in part because the colonists were not represented in the Parliament that issued them. Today, Washingtonians are in virtually the same situation as with regard to the U.S. Congress.

"So, let the new flag be raised, and let us once again say "NO" to taxation without representation.

"Thank you for the opportunity to speak."

[End of remarks. Check against delivery.]

Since 1801, Washingtonians have been denied local autonomy and representation in the U.S. Government. Only under international pressure in 1960 did Congress pass a Constitutional amendment giving citizens of the nation's capital limited voting rights in presidential elections. In the 1970's for the first time in nearly a hundred years, the citizens of Washington, DC were permitted a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives and given limited, local autonomy. When polled (Source: Richards Poll, 1999), 72% of Americans support giving District residents equal voting rights in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. With growing enthusiasm from the residents of Washington, DC, DC Vote and a coalition of organizations are renewing the effort to move Congress to resolve this over two-hundred-year-old Constitutional anomaly.

DC Vote is a non-partisan, non-profit organization designed to educate the American people about the denial of equal rights and the lack of full voting representation in Congress for the residents of the District of Columbia.

1500 U Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009 - 202.462.6000 - 202.462.7001 fax - www.dcvote.org

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