Arteries and veins acquire distinct molecular identities prior to the onset of embryonic blood circulation, and their specification is crucial for vascular development. The transcription factor COUP-TFII currently functions at the top of a signaling pathway governing venous fate. It promotes venous identity by inhibiting Notch signaling and subsequent arterialization of endothelial cells, yet nothing is known about what regulates COUP-TFII expression in veins. We now report that the chromatin-remodeling enzyme BRG1 promotes COUP-TFII expression in venous endothelial cells during murine embryonic development. Conditional deletion of Brg1 from vascular endothelial cells resulted in downregulated COUP-TFII expression and aberrant expression of arterial markers on veins. BRG1 promotes COUP-TFII expression by binding conserved regulatory elements within the COUP-TFII promoter and remodeling chromatin to make the promoter accessible to transcriptional machinery. This study provides the first description of a factor promoting COUP-TFII expression in vascular endothelium and highlights a novel role for chromatin remodeling in venous specification.