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Make a Civil War Flag
During the Civil War, flags were symbols of home, the nation and one's fellow soldiers.
Each regiment carried its own flags into battle. Soldiers looked to their flag to know where they were supposed to be on the battle field. The greatest dishonor was to lose one's flag to the enemy.
Often, a community presented a flag to its regiment of volunteers at a special ceremony. The color guard was responsible for taking care of the flag.
Many brave men died trying to defend their flags. One of
the highest death rates in battle was that of color bearers.
Civil war flags were usually made from silk with embroidered or painted mottoes, such as Tuebor (I will defend) and "Stand by the Union," and symbols, such as stars, eagles, the Michigan coat-of-arms and the American flag. You can
design your own flag:
White, red, blue and yellow/gold felt; a box of self-adhesive gold stars; dowel rod; and adhesive-backed hook and loop tape.
- Cut a piece of white felt about 12 inches wide by 10 inches high.
- Then cut strips of red felt and glue them on the white felt.
- Cut a square of blue felt and glue over the stripes.
- Stick gold stars onto the blue patch. (When the Civil War started, the United States
had 34 stars on its flag because it had 34 states.)
- Cut yellow/gold felt in strips and attach to the back of the flag to make a fringe.
- Attach two strips of hook and loop tape on the back left side of the flag and to the
- Use the strips to attach the dowel rod to the felt.
Here are two examples of what your flag might look like:
Contact the Michigan Historical Museum.