Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

What other words are considered “Derogatory” under Secretary’s Order 3404 and the DOI Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force?

The Board on Geographic Names’ (BGN) Principles, Policies, and Procedures document contains the current Derogatory and Offensive Names Policy. Prior to Secretary's Order 3404, only two other words had been declared derogatory by the BGN in all occurrences:

  1. In 1963, the BGN, at the request of the Secretary of the Interior, mandated that the pejorative form of the word “Negro” be eliminated from all federal maps and publications. The pejorative term was replaced with "Negro" for all geographic features. 
  2. In 1974, the BGN mandated that the pejorative word for Japanese be changed in all occurrences to “Japanese.” 

Following the issuance of Secretary’s Order 3404, the word “sq___” was added to the policy as the third derogatory word.

Related Content