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Some years after the Institute seal was created, Palmer Ricketts designed a flag described as: "a rectangle divided by a diagonal into two triangles, one cherry and one white, with the letters R. P. I. crossing the diagonal, the parts of the letters on the white background being cherry and the parts on the cherry background being white."
The Institute flag was redesigned in 1994 and first flew at the 188th commencement, May 20, 1994. The design incorporates the elements in the Institute's original coat of arms and the Rensselaer logotype. The Rensselaer flag flies with the American and New York state flags in front of the Rensselaer Union. The flags and poles were a gift of the Class of 1994.