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Posted By: Walter F. Mathers on: 06/20/2002 16:53:54 CDT
Subject: Notes on the Yankee Signal Star Flag

Message Detail:
I was noticing our forum posting folks speak about the Federal issue 'honors flags' and thought I'd put my two cents in the hat.

A long time ago when I first hear about the significance of the star flag and found out that only the signal officers in the Union Army (not even the bravest of the brave enlisted men from the ranks) were even eligible to receive such an award, I also heard the name of this flag mentioned mentioned both as an honors flag and also as a vanity flag. I was quickly put in my place the first few times I attempted refer'g to the star flag as a vanity flag. Whew! Boy ~ Did I get it ;)

After reading Brown a bit closer and getting a little more chidding from Dave Gaddy, I began refer'g to it as Myer would have done. He called it a Battle Flag.

So if I am doing first person and someone asks me to explain the star flag of a signal officer (which I rarely see at re-enactments, thank goodness) I tell them officially it is a special battle flag which is supposed to be awarded signal officers who have been cited for meritorious service usually but not always under battlefild conditions. To some it is a mark of honour but to others, however, it can also easily become an issue of vanity.

To the best of our knowledge the Confederate signal corps had no counterpart although some re-enactor's little mind devised it anyway. I'm safe with such an explanation and the nice old Confederate signal battle flag creator has since retired from the field of re-creating(?).


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