Although it is generally believed that most Indiana regiments carried regulation flags, at least the 13th Indiana Infantry Regiment carried a dark blue regimental color with the state seal embroidered in natural colours in the centre over a small red, white,

Civil War Indiana Regiments
The centre of the flag of the 1st Regiment, Massachusetts Hea vy Artillery, torn by a jo-pound shell at the Battle of Sailor's Creek, Virginia, 6 April iS6g. (Massachusetts State House, Bureau of Slate Office Buildings)
War Torn Regimental Flags

The battle-torn colors of the 19th Massachusetts Infantry, including the state llag on the right, had axeheads on their top. (US ■irmy Military History Institute)

and blue LS shield, over a red scroll with rhc motto E Pluribue I num in blue letters. The regimental designation was printed in gold Roman letters on a red riband over the seal (13th. REGt. INDIANA VOLs.), while a battle honour for Rich Mountain was placed in a similar scroll beneath the seal. Another honour (WINCHESTER/23rd. March 1862) was placcd where the canton would normally be. The whole flag was fringed with gold.

The seal is described thus by W ells: 'In the lower portion of a circular field is represented a scene of prairie and woodland, with the surface gently undulating—descriptive of the predominant features of the State. In the foreground is a buffalo, an animal once abounding in great numbers in this region, apparently startled by the axe of the woodman or pionecer, who is seen on the left, felling the trees of [he forest, denoting the march of civilization westward. In the distance, on the right, is seen the sun, just appearing above the verge of the horizon.'


The story about Iowa's and Kansas' flags is the same as that of Illinois—there was no state flag, and the state's troops apparently mostly carried regulation US Army colors. Kansas, being a divided state, had men fighting for both sides; those for the South often had flags marked SOUTHERN RIGHTS, while those for the North had flags inscribed OUR LIVES FOR OUR RIGHTS.

The battle-torn colors of the 19th Massachusetts Infantry, including the state llag on the right, had axeheads on their top. (US ■irmy Military History Institute)


While there was no official state flag during the period, in 1866 the state's adjutant general wrote that Union units often carried colors made to regulation US Army regimental color size, of light blue silk with a blue fringed border; the state seal was painted in its centre. Indeed, a dark blue version of this flag became the official state National Guard flag in 1880. This would match the i860 state militia laws, which required: 'Each regiment shall be provided with a color, which shall be that of the United States, w ith the arms of the State of Kentucky and the number of the regiment painted or embroidered there on.'

On 4 December 1861, the state's quartermaster general wrote to the supplier of the state's flag, I Iugh W ilkins of Louisville: 'Our law requires that the coat of arms of the state of Kentucky shall be centered on the regimental color. The nationality of the regiment is sufficiently displayed by the stars and stripes. You will therefore paint the name of the state alone on the regimental color.'

The state seal showed, according to Wells' Handbook-. 'In the centre of a circular w hite or silver field, tw o friends are seen grasping one hand of each other in a firm and cordial embrace, while the other is extended to each other's back, significant of encouragement and support. Below them is the expressive motto, "United we stand; divided we fall." '

In the actual seal, as painted on W ilkins' flags, the figure on the left looks like George Washington, with white hair and blue and buff" 17yos period dress, while that on the right wears frontier garb of a fringed buckskin shirt and trousers and a coonskin cap, and holds a rifle. What appears to be water can be seen

The color guard of (he jth New York State Militia Regiment. On the extreme left and right ¡ire bearers of the general guide or camp colors, which are inserted into musket barrels. The state color is carried by the sergeant standing second from the left. (US Army Military History Institute)

behind the right-hand figure, and several trees behind the man on the right. The motto is painted in gold eapital letters on a red riband over the oval seal, which has scalloped edges, while the unit designation, e.g. i^Ti 1 RFGT. KY. VOL. INF., is painted in the same type of letters on a red riband under the seal.

These state regimental colors made by Wilkins are known to have been issued to the 1st, 2d, 3d, 9th, 10th, nth, 12th, 13th, 14th, 16th, 18th, 20th, 24th, and 27th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry Regiments. The 15th Infantry carried a local presentation color, as apparently did the 25th Infantry. Other regiments may have received regulation US Army regimental colors provided by the Army.

A pre-war flag carricd by the Woodford Blues, a Kentucky State Guard company from Versailles, Woodford County, w as of dark blue silk, four feet by seven feet. However, instead of the state seal it bore in its centre a Union eagle within a circle, with 13 five-pointed white stars around the circle and a wreath underneath it with the letters K.S.G. directly under the eagle. A red scroll bears the unit designation WOODFORD BLUES below that. The company largely joined the Confederate Kentucky Brigade. However, most Confederate Kentucky flags known today appear to be variations of regulation national or battle flags.

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  • ren
    What color is the indiana state seal of 2012?
    7 years ago

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