Image description: The Capitol Christmas tree was lit last night and holds more than 5,000 ornaments and LED lights.
This year’s tree is an Engelmann spruce that was harvested on November 1 from Colville National Forest in Washington. The ornaments were handcrafted by Washingtonians and celebrate the state’s history and culture.
The Christmas tree will be lit every day from night fall until 11 p.m. from now until January 1.
Photo from the National Forest Service.
The “Star-Spangled Banner,” “Old Glory,” the “Stars and Stripes” — no matter the name, the American flag is a familiar, important symbol of our nation.
And what could be more authentically patriotic than owning a flag that flew on top of the Capitol Building?
Since 1937, when a member of Congress requested a flag flown on the top of the Capitol, a part of the duties of the Architect of the Capitol has been to distribute requested flags to members of Congress - and the general public.
Currently, the Architect of the Capitol fulfills requests from the members of the Senate and the House, averaging about 100,000 flag requests annually with a steadily increasing number of requests each year. To request your own personal 3-by-5-foot or 5-by-8-foot flag, you should contact your representative or senator directly.
To find contact information for your Congressional representatives, visit:
If you’re interested, visit the Architect of the Capitol’s website to learn more about their duties. The position has existed since the laying of the Capitol cornerstone in 1793 - serving as builder and steward of some of the country’s landmarks, including the Capitol Building, the Senate and House office buildings, the Supreme Court, Library of Congress and Botanical Garden.
And to learn more about the flag request process, check out this PDF of a flag request form, the guidelines for ordering flags or the flag policy from the Architect of the Capitol’s office.
Image description: The United States Capitol Dome was constructed of cast iron more than 150 years ago. The Dome has not undergone a complete restoration since 1959-1960 and due to age and weather is now plagued by more than 1,000 cracks and deficiencies.
This fall the Architect of the Capitol will begin a multi-year project to remove old paint, repair the cast iron and stone, and repaint the Dome. During the project, a scaffold system will surround the entire Dome. The first photo shows a rendering of the Capitol with the scaffolding in place.
The other photos show examples of the cracks and other repairs needed.
You can follow the progress of the work and view more images of the restoration project.
Photos from the Architect of the Capitol.
Image description: The largest full moon of 2013 rises over the Statue of Freedom on the top of the Capitol.
Photo by the Architect of the Capitol.
Image description: The Capitol and Library of Congress Jefferson Building on April 11, 1895 (above) and April 11, 2013 (below).
Photo by the Architect of the Capitol