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Posted By: Walt Mathers on: 04/25/2003 23:00:12 EDT|
Subject: On the Proper Placement of US Signal Insignia
Here's and interesting group of signal staff posing upon the front steps of Corps Head-Quarters, 1816 F Street, NW, Washington DC. It is reported to have been taken sometime during April of 1865. Using Brown's book as an aid, can you identify any of those pictured?
Notice the double flag insignia on the sack coated sleeves of the two private soldiers. Might these two gentlemen be 'out of uniform' as prescribed in the August, 1864 directive of enlisted men being instructed to wear the crossed signal flag patch on their left sleeves only?
Notice that, unlike modern signal insignia which have matching white flags to the front, there seem to have been no such requirements during the Civil War. Now I ask you...are the flag staffs on these examples of insignia exactly three inches in length? Maybe, maybe not. Have you found insignia with differing proportions in other images?
I should wish to ask our re-enactors' divisioneers to use this offical head-quarters pose as an 'official' example when establishing and/or enforcing their unit's uniform quidelines. Look at the images.
My suggestion would be to allow your unit associates as much latitude for whatever can be photographically documented and make every effort to keep from establishing uniformity in clothing in an organization that was anything but uniform.
Signal Corps Association (1860-1865)