Staffers have taken to hoisting a special flag atop the Interior Department headquarters whenever Secretary Ryan Zinke is in the building, leaving critics scratching their heads over the pomp and circumstance uncommon in federal government.
When Zinke isn't around, the Post noted, a different flag is raised to represent the deputy secretary, David Bernhardt. The Post noted that US military field commanders "often" display their unit's flag to mark their presence at headquarters, but that the practice has long since gone out of style for other government officials.
It's also attracting more attention and scorn to Zinke, who's under investigation for his travels on private federal aircraft for official and unofficial business; he's used the private fleet for fundraising stops while toting his wife with him. "If we had a secretarial flag at the Obama Labor Department, we never bothered to locate it or use it".
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The flag, is a royal blue with a seal that features a bison and seven stars on it.
A spokesperson for Zinke told the Washington Post the secretary was "restoring honor and tradition to the department", adding that the flag ritual was a "major sign of transparency".
"Ryan Zinke is proud and honored to lead the Department of the Interior, and is restoring honor and tradition to the department, whether it's flying the flag when he is in garrison or restoring traditional access to public lands", press secretary Heather Swift said, according to the Post.
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