Library Catalog - Kentucky Historical Society

Object Record

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Object Name Flag
Catalog Number 1999.68.1
Maker Cincinnati Depot
Date ca. 1861
Material(s) Silk
Dimensions H-68 W-73 inches
Description This is the 8th Kentucky Infantry's national flag. It has seven red stripes and six white stripes. There are thirty gold painted stars with red border in the blue canton. There is a patch of red white and blue below the canton, a triangular patch on the last white stripe near the middle as well as a rectangular patch on the fly edge of the last white stripe. There is a red patch on the fly edge of the last red stripe and on the fly edge of the center red stripe. There is no fringe.
Notes According to the family, this Union flag was designed and made by the ladies of Estill County, Kentucky and was presented to Captain John Wilson on September 14, 1861 at Estill Springs. The flag was carried by Captain John Wilson and five other men from Estill County to the top of Lookout Mountain, TN on November 23, 1863. However there is some confusion as to whether this is the one made by the ladies in Estill County or if this is one that was made in Cincinnati and acquired later in the war.

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 A big reason for this is how they were originally made.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 Billy-Lyle Wilson Collection
Event American Civil War
People Wilson, Billy-Lyle
Subjects Flags
Civil wars
Search Terms Civil War
Civil War flags
Physical Holder Kentucky Historical Society - KHS