Civil War Flags


National Flags

The pattern of the National flag or "Stars and Stripes" as we now know it was enacted into law on April 4, 1818:

"Be it enacted by the senate and house of representatives of the United States in congress assembled, That from and after the fourth day of July next, the flag of the United States be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white; that the union have twenty stars, white in a blue field. And be it further enacted, That on the admission of every new State into the Union, one star be added to the union of the flag;...."

Although this act established the basic pattern of the flag as we know it today, it did not define the arrangement of the stars. However the Revised Regulations of the Army of the United States specified that the blue union of the national flag was to extend one third of the length of the flag and was to extend down to the lower edge of the fourth red stripe. Notice in the photos of the national flags that the unions or cantons of the flag are variously sized from square to rectangular. The arrangement of the stars or star pattern and the shape of the canton in each national flag allows identification of the manufacturer of the flags made under government contract.

Regimental Flags

The Regimental flag or color was a blue silk flag decorated with an eagle and federal shield. The eagle's claws held an olive branch and arrows. "E Pluribus Unum" was emblazoned on an upper banner either above the eagle or in the eagle's beak. Below the eagle was another banner bearing the name and number of the regiment. Above the eagle were stars representing the number of states in the Union. The flag was fringed with yellow fringe.

Based on the drawing of the eagle, the position of the eagle's head, the position of the upper and lower banners and the position of the stars, the location and name of the manufacturer of the flag can usually be identified.

Flag photos are continuously being updated to the database.
Please check back often.


© 1998 -2001 John Schmale - Mahomet, IL 61853
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