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35814Headquarter flags

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  • josepharose
    Nov 29, 2005
      The Grant webpage had an interesting question about headquarter flags.
      Rosecrans issued orders pertaining to their use in his army which are
      somewhat interesting:

      "Flags will be used to indicate the various headquarters, as follows:
      General headquarters-the National flag, 6 feet by 5, with a golden
      eagle below the stars, 2 feet from tip to tip. Right wing-a plain
      light crimson flag. Center-a plain light blue flag. Left wing-a plain
      pink flag. First Division, right wing-the flag of the wing, with one
      white star, 18 inches in diameter, the inner point 1 inch form the
      staff. Third Division, right wing-the flag of the wing, with three
      white stars, each 18 inches in diameter, set in triangular form, the
      outside star 1 inch from the outer line of flag. The division flags of
      the center and left wing will correspond with the above; that is to
      say, they will be the flags of the center of left wing, as the case
      may be, and with one, two, or three white stars, each 18 inches in
      diameter, according as they represent the First, Second, or Third
      Divisions. The headquarters flags of all brigades will be the flags of
      their divisions, with the number of the brigade in black, 8 inches
      long, in the center of each star. That of the brigade of regulars,
      however, will, instead of the white star and black number, have simply
      a golden star. The flags of the wings will be 6 feet on staff by 4
      feet fly; those of the divisions and brigades 5 feet by 3. They will
      all be of a pattern to be furnished to the quartermaster's department.
      Artillery reserve-a plain red flag, equilateral in shape, each side
      being 5 feet. Cavalry reserve-of the same shape as division flags, 3
      feet fly by 5 on the staff, but of deep orange color. Divisions and
      brigades to be designated as in the infantry; that is, the First,
      Second, and Third Division by one, two, and three white start
      respectively; the First, Second, and Third Brigades by black figures
      in each star. Engineer corps-a white and blue flag, blue uppermost and
      running horizontally. Flag 5 feet on staff by 3 feet fly. ospitals and
      ambulance depots-a light yellow flag, 3 feet square, for the hospitals
      and for the principal ambulance depot on a field of battle; 2 feet
      square for the lesser ones. Subsistence depots or store-hourse-a plain
      light green flag, 3 feet square. Quartermaster's depots or
      store-houses-same flag, with the letters Q.M.D. in white, 1 foot long."

      He later found that this wasn't sufficient to distinguish the various
      HQs, and submitted further instructions. Hurlbut also issued detailed
      orders on flags and corps badges.

      Such standardization would seem to have made the finding and
      identification of HQs easier for the army's aides and messengers,
      especially during battle or periods of movement.