Library Catalog - Kentucky Historical Society

Object Record

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Object Name Flag
Catalog Number 1987.81.281a
Date ca. 1860
Material(s) Silk
Dimensions H-18 W-37 inches
Description This is a fragment of the 3rd Kentucky Infantry national flag. It has an approximately 3/4" x 5" section of light blue canton attached a sixteen inch red stripe with part of upper and lower white stripe. The red stripe has the name "3rd KY V" in gold stencil.
Notes Some of our Civil War era flags are in terrible shape. A big reason for this is how they were originally made. Harsh dyes used to color fabrics (especially silk) resulted in the material breaking apart and shattering. Painted areas typically remain more intact but paint does not allow free movement of the fabric and thus contributes to the fracturing of adjacent areas.

Ironically wool and cotton flags, which were less expensive to produce, are far more stable than silk flags. These flags in our collection remain largely intact and in far better condition than their silk counterparts.

Many of the Civil War era flags in our collection cannot be physically displayed without causing further damage. KHS stores flags flat in a stable environment. Our goal is to slow the deterioration as much as possible.
Collection KHS Museum Collection
Event American Civil War
Subjects Flags
Civil wars
Military flags
Search Terms American Civil War
Civil War
Civil War flags
Civil Wars
Flag remnants
Physical Holder Kentucky Historical Society - KHS