Thursday, December 13, 2018

State Arms on a Regimental Flag

A few years past, the Texas Department of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (of which I am a member) donated some money to the Texas Civil War Museum to help pay for the restoration of a regimental flag which was in need of conservation. It was made of silk, and the past 150 years hadn't always been kind to it.

We recently got word that the conservation work had been completed, and we were invited to the Museum to see the results.

Here it is in its frame, stabilized and behind glass: the Flag of the 45th New York Regiment of Infantry.

The central painted panel is a representation of the achievement of arms of the State of New York.

It is, as you can see more clearly in the drawing below, an example of "landscape heraldry."

The arms are a view of the Hudson River, with the sun rising over a mountain, supported on each side by the figures of Liberty and of Justice, with the crest of an eagle spreading its wings atop a representation of the globe, and the motto Excelsior ("Ever upward").

Not the best example of heraldry, but the arms - and the flag - are a part of New York's history, and it was certainly a pleasure to see this particular bit of history is being preserved.

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