CFA 18/APR/13-1

Project name
The George Washington Spymaster Medal, for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence

United States

Institute of Heraldry
U.S. Department of the Army
Designs for medal (obverse and reverse), medallion (obverse and reverse), ribbon bar, and lapel pin
Review Type


Dear Mr. Mugno:

In its meeting of 18 April, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed design alternatives for the proposed George Washington Spymaster Medal to be awarded for extraordinary contributions within the intelligence community, along with the associated miniature medal, lapel pin, and ribbon bar.

The Commission members recommended Option #1 for the medal with several revisions, noting the creative combination of heraldic traditions in this alternative and the resulting challenges in developing a unified design. They concluded that the garter would be an appropriate motif for this decoration; however, they suggested clarifying the design elements by spacing the sixteen stars evenly across the top and sides of the circle to allow the buckle at the bottom to read more clearly as the garter's defining feature. They recommended shifting the central motif–the two red bars with three stars above, derived from the Washington family coat of arms–slightly downward so that the overall motif, rather than only the bars, is centered in the circle. Noting the apparent difference in size among the options presented, they recommended careful study of the scale of the design elements and expressed a preference for the smaller scale of the griffin's wings at the top of the medal as seen in Option #2. The Commission members supported the reverse design, miniature medal, and lapel pin associated with Option #1, as well as the proposed ribbon and ribbon bar.

The Commission members expressed appreciation for the historical research used in developing the design alternatives. As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Charles V. Mugno, Director
The Institute of Heraldry
U.S. Department of the Army
9325 Gunston Road, Room S113
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060–5579