Each Civil War Infantry regiment had two flags, by military definition
these were called the regimental colors--a national color and a
regimental color. According to the Army Regulations:
"Each regiment of Infantry shall have two silken colors. The
first, or the national color, of stars and stripes, as described
for the garrison flag; the number and name of the regiment to be
embroidered with silver on the center stripe. The second, or regimental
color, to be blue, with the arms of the United States embroidered
in silk on the center. The name of the regiment in a scroll, underneath
the eagle. The size of each color to be six feet six inches fly,
and six feet deep on the pike. The length of the pike, including
the spear and ferrule, to be nine feet ten inches. The fringe yellow;
cords and tassels, blue and white silk intermixed."
After February 1862 also inscribed upon the colors of the regiment
were the names of the battles in which the regiment "have borne
a meritorious part."
During the Civil War some of the Illinois regiments carried Regimental
Colors that were different from those issued by the Federal government.
Perhaps the most striking is that of the 90th Illinois Infantry.
In addition to the colors described above many infantry regiments
also carried camp, guide or flank markers (also called guidons)--the
terms are used interchangeably. These flags were usually eighteen
inches square and mounted on an eight foot staff. Early in the War
they were white with the number of the regiment in the center. Later
in the War they were similar to the national flag. These colors
were used in camp to mark the color line and were used as markers
during dress parade. In the Illinois flag collection there are some
Infantry regimental guidons with a swallow tail pattern, similar
to that used by the cavalry.
Flag photos are continuously being updated to the database.
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