The design of the Congress flag was selected from 27 proposals submitted by interested vexillologists, and modified slightly by the design committee. The white stars on blue and the red stars on white represent, respectively, the host nation and city, the United States of America, and Washington D.C. There are 24 stars in all, echoing the number of the Congress. The blue-and-white and the quartered design also recall, respectively, the state flags of Virginia and Maryland, the two states adjacent to the District of Columbia.
The basic design was submitted by Mr. Tony Burton of New South Wales, Australia. Mr. Burton's original design showed gold stars in the white blue quarters. While the original blue-and-gold motif suggested the colors of the FIAV flag, the committee felt that there should be a stronger reference the host nation. The committee also considered displaying gold stars in one blue quarter and white in the other; however, this was visually less attractive and created a potential precedence issue.
Coincidentally, the concept of the ICV 24 flag is similar to the one used for ICV 14 in Barcelona in 1991, held twenty years earlier. However, the use of the stars to represent the number of the ICV creates an additional symbolic link between the ICV and the host nation and city.
The flag was chosen by the Congress Flag Committee: Peter Ansoff, chairman; Baron Fain, Dr. John Purcell, and Cindy Williams. The flag artwork is by Peggy Rose.