Thursday, March 11, 2010

Flags Carried by Union Trans-Mississippi Units

Several years ago, I viewed an exhibit of Kansas Civil War battle flags in Topeka. These flags were incorporated into an exhibit about Kansas and its role during the Civil War rather than being in a “stand alone” exhibit. The fact that soldiers, both Union and Confederate, were willing to die to protect their banners is extraordinarily moving, and I am willing to travel long distances to see these special relics in person. In a recent posting I listed several books about Confederate Trans-Mississippi banners, but I have been unable to locate any books specifically about flags carried by Union units from west of the Mississippi. If any readers know of any such publications, then please let me know.

I did, however, locate some excellent websites that document Union flags. Start by going to a directory of flag conservation projects assembled by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. The listing includes projects from across the country, but I was particularly impressed by the websites about Iowa’s battle flags as well as the one about Wisconsin’s Civil War banners. Additionally, check out the website of the Kansas State Historical Society that has an online exhibit about flags. This online exhibit is geared toward children, but it includes some excellent images of Confederate and Union Trans-Mississippi banners. The Minnesota Historical Society also has an online exhibit of Civil War banners plus a three minute podcast by curator Doug Bekke about the conservation process.

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