Personal flags were used by some individuals to indicate their location on the field regardless of the actual position they held. Generals Sheridan, Merritt, Kilpatrick and Custer all carried personal flags. Major-General Philip H. Sheridan's was probably the most famous, though by no means the most colourful. General Custer had four different personal flags at various times throughout the war, two of which are illustrated. The first flag was a simpler version of the second without the fringe and with only the battle honours Boonsboro and Falling-Water. The third flag was a simpler and smaller version of the fourth without the white cord edging.
Silk field of red and white stripes, sky blue canton with embroidered gold sabres, and 36 silver stars arranged to form two five-pointed stars. B: Personal Flag, Brigadier-General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick, 3rd Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, 1864. Silk, red and white stripes, gold fringe, red central disc bordered white with eagle and stars and stripes in natural colours.
C: Designating Flag, Cavalry Reserve Headquarters, Army of the Potomac,
1862. Yellow field with blue cross.
D and E: Designating Flags, 1st and 2nd Cavalry Brigades, Army of the
Potomac, 1862. Yellow fields and blue stars. F: Designating Flag, Cavalry Corps Headquarters, Army of the Potomac,
1863. Yellow field with white sabres.
G: Designating Flag, Cavalry Reserve Brigade, 1st Division, 1863. Blue field with yellow sabres.
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