Library Catalog - Kentucky Historical Society

Object Record

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Object Name Flag
Catalog Number UNNUMBERED-2927
Date ca. 1862
Material(s) Cotton
Dimensions H-70 W-82 inches
Description This is a Confederate, 4th Kentucky Infantry Flag. The piece has a dark blue field made of two pieces of fabric sewn together. The flag has a lighter blue section (repair) at the top with three sets of light blue ties sewn to the top edge. The piece has a red cotton cross applied to the center on the field. The cross has 13 white cotton 5 point stars applied to the cross with 6 running horizontally and 7 running vertically. The cross is on both sides of the flag. The piece is hemmed at the right and left sides and has an unhemmed edge at the bottom.
Notes An early flag carried by the 4th Kentucky Infantry Regiment. According to the "Confederate Home Messenger" in 1910, the flag was saved by Mrs. Bettie Phillips after the battle of Jonesboro and eventually given to Mrs. John Onan of Morganfield, who sent it to the Old Confederate Home in Peewee Valley via Captain T.C. Blackwell in 1910. According to Edna S. Macon, President of the KY Division of the U.D.C., the flag was given to the KHS in 1935 by the Morganfield Chapter of the U.D.C. Bettie Phillips was the wife of Captain William S. Phillips of Uniontown, an officer in the 4th Kentucky. Phillips spent much of the war with her husband and his troops.

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 A big reason for this is how they were originally made.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
People Phillips, Bettie
Phillips, William
Subjects Flags
Civil wars
Search Terms American Civil War
Confederate Army
Confederate States of America
4th Kentucky Infantry
Physical Holder Kentucky Historical Society - KHS