What is it?
In an effort to establish legitimacy of official Virginia government websites and continually reinforce the Virginia government brand, agencies use a top section of their website for enterprise links and branding known as the Commonwealth Banner.
Although state agencies operate individually, all are united under the umbrella of Virginia government to serve citizens, directly or indirectly.
This common design element was updated in October 2017 by a multi-agency workgroup. The business purpose of the branding bar and its relationship to state agencies was further clarified.
A more minimal banner now contains only information and links that apply to every state agency website. Search and contact information are omitted, in favor of agency-specific search and contact content. An update to the state bird icon was made, now utilizing a geometric cardinal with varying color blocks of red. The new icon is easily identified even at small sizes.
Not every state agency is referred to as an 'agency.' There are two versions of the banner with text options that read:
"A Commonwealth of Virginia Website" or
"An Agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia."
Additional options for the banner will include either a black or a white background.
Update: December 2017
The Website Topic Report requires that Executive Branch agencies place the bar containing the Commonwealth Banner at the top of each webpage. Many other Virginia government entities which are not required to use the banner do so, in recognition of its citizen benefits. Any state government entity can freely use this tool.
Instructions on how to update the banner can be accessed at https://www.developer.virginia.gov/downloads/commonwealth-banner. Agencies are requested to implement the updated version of the banner by July 1, 2018.