Designating Flag, 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 3rd Army Corps

Physical Description:
Wool bunting pennant flag. White field with a blue border on the hoist edge. Large red diamond in the center of the flag. The white cotton hoist is machine-stitched and has a metal grommet at each end. Flag seams are hand sewn. Inscription on hoist reads "3rd Corps/1st DIV/2nd BRIG From/Wm. F. Scheible/Philada. Pa./Contract March 23, 1865".
General Description:
Third Army Corps (26 June - 12 September 1862)
The diamond shaped lozenge, a symbol adopted by the Third Army Corps under General Philip Kearny, became the ensign for the corps flags. The use of corps badges today may be traced to a spontaneous beginning with a directive from General Kearny. According to legend, General Kearny mistakenly reprimanded a group of soldiers from a corps other than his own while on march. To eliminate future confusion, he issued diamond shaped badges of cloth, known as "Kearny Patches," to be worn on the crown pieces of the caps of the soldiers.
The necessity of identifying corps, division, and brigades on the battlefield soon led to a requirement that all corps in the Union Army be represented with a designating badge. Often the badges were used on the corps equipment and flags. For many corps, the badge introduced an ensign that served thereafter as an enduring symbol in its heraldic lineage. Although the original Third Army Corps flags probably carried the "white cross botonny with red 'three' found in other Army of the Potomac Corps,:" (Todd p. 323), shown here is the regulation diamond shape used after 1864. Flags of the third Army Corps were carried in all the battles of the Army of the Potomac except Antietam (Boatner, p. 189).
Currently not on view
Object Name
flag, designating
date made
William F. Scheible
Physical Description
wool (overall material)
cotton (heading material)
metal (grommets material)
overall: 76 1/2 in x 52 3/4 in; 194.31 cm x 133.985 cm
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Designating Flags
Civil War
Civil War
Civil War
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Military
Civil War
Designating Flags
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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