The flag of Washington, D.C. consists of three red stars above two red bars on a white background. It is based upon the design of the coat of arms of the family of George Washington. For heraldic reasons, the stars are properly called "mullets."
For over a century, the District of Columbia was without an official flag and flew several unofficial banners — usually the flag of the D.C. National Guard. In 1938, Congress established a commission to choose an official, original design. The commission ended up choosing in a public competition a design by Charles A.R. Dunn, a graphic designer. His design was officially adopted on October 15, 1938. Dunn had first proposed this design for the D.C. flag in 1921.
His design was officially adopted on October 15, 1938, using the following specification:
The proportions of the design are prescribed in terms of the hoist, or vertical height, of the flag as follows: the upper white portion shall be 3/10 of the hoist; the two horizontal bars are each 2/10 of the hoist; the white area between the bars 1/10 of the hoist; and the base, or lowest white space, is 2/10 of the hoist. The three five-pointed stars have a diameter of 2/10 of the hoist and are spaced equidistant in the fly, or horizontal, dimension of the flag.
In 2002, the D.C. Council debated a proposal to change the flag in protest of the District’s lack of voting rights in Congress. The new design would have added the letters “D.C.” to the center star and the words “Taxation Without Representation” in white to the two red bars, a slogan already in use on the District's license plates. The change presumably would have been temporary and revoked once the city achieved equal representation or statehood. It passed the council on a 10–2 vote, but support for the proposal soon eroded, and then-mayor Anthony A. Williams never signed the bill.
In a 2004 poll on the North American Vexillological Association website, Washington’s flag was voted the best design among United States city flags. It had previously placed eighth in their survey of North American state and provincial flags
Washington DC is not a state, but a federal district as specified by Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution