National Geographic : 1917 Oct
of stars, emblazoned thereon, with the desig nation of the body of troops (see 22). In 1834 War Department regulations gave the artillery the right to carry the Stars and Stripes. The infantry still used the design of 22 until 1841, and the cavalry until 1887, when that branch of the army was ordered to carry the Stars and Stripes. The history of the flag indicates that the Stars and Stripes were not officially carried by troops in battle until the period of the Mexican War, 1846-1847. THE ARMY FLAGS The flags used by the United States Army to designate its several branches are divided into two classes-colors and standards. The colors are used by unmounted troops and the standards by mounted forces. The principal difference between them is that the standards are smaller and have no cords and tassels, be cause large flags and cords and tassels would hinder the movements of the mounted stand ard-bearer. Every regiment of engineers, artillery, infan try, cavalry, etc., is supplied with one silk na tional standard or color (17) and one silk regimental standard or color (II, 13, 15, 18, etc.). The silk national and regimental colors or standards are carried in battle, campaign, and on all occasions of ceremony at regimental headquarters in which two or more companies of the regiment participate. The official designation of the regiment is engraved on a silver band placed on the pike or lance. When not in use, colors and standards are kept in their waterproof cases. In garrison the standards or colors, when not in use, are kept in the office or quarters of the colonel and are escorted thereto and there from by the color guard. In camp the colors or standards, .when not in use, are displayed in front 6f the colonel's tent, the national color or standard on the right. From reveille to re treat, when the weather permits, they are un cased; from retreat to reveille and during in clement weather they are cased. In action the position of the standards or colors will be indicated by the colonel, who may, through their display, inspire enthusiasm and maintain the morale. He may, however, hold them back when they might indicate to the enemy the direction of the main attack, betray the position of the main body, or tend to commit the regiment to defensive action. In the presence of the enemy and during the "approach" the standards are carried cased, ready to be instantly broken out if their in spiration is required. In addition to the handsome silk flags, a national color or standard made of bunting or other suitable material, but in all other re spects similar to the silk national color or standard, is furnished to each battalion or squadron of each regiment. These colors and standards are for use at drills and on marches, and on all service other than battles, campaigns, and occasions of cere mony. Not more than one national color or standard is carried when the regiment or any part of it is assembled. The colors of a regiment will not be placed in mourning or draped, except when ordered from the War Department. Two streamers of crape 7 feet long and about 12 inches wide at tached to the ferrule below the spearhead will be used for the purpose. The names and dates of battles in which regiments or separate battalions have partici pated are engraved on silver bands and placed on the pike of the colors or lance of the stand ard of the regiment or separate battalion, as the case may be. For this purpose only the names of those battles which conform to the following definition are considered, viz: Bat tles are important engagements between inde pendent armies in their own theaters of war, in contradistinction to conflicts in which but a small portion of the opposing forces are actu ally engaged, the latter being called, according to their nature, affairs, combats, skirmishes, and the like. The names and dates of battles which it is proposed to have engraved on the silver bands are submitted to the War. Department, which decides each case on its merits. At least two companies, troops, or batteries of a regiment or separate battalion must have participated in a battle in order that the name of the battle may be placed on its colors or standards. A company, troop, or battery does not re ceive credit for having participated in a battle unless at least one-half of its actual strength was engaged. The Adjutant General of the Army furnishes each company, troop, and battery with a suit ably engrossed certificate setting forth the names of all battles, engagements, and minor affairs in which said company, troop, or bat tery participated, with the dates thereof, and showing, as nearly as may be, the organiza tions of the United States troops engaged therein, and against what enemy. This cer tificate states that the names and dates of these battles are engraved on silver bands on the pike of the colors of the regiment or battalion, or the lance of the standard of the regiment or battalion, as the case may be, excepting in the case of companies which have no regi mental or battalion organization. This certificate is suitably framed and kept posted in the barracks of the company, troop, or battery. Whenever in the opinion of a commanding officer the condition of any silk color, stand ard, or guidon in the possession of his com mand has become unserviceable, the same is forwarded to the depot quartermaster, Phila delphia, Pa., for repair, if practicable. Should it be found that its condition does not warrant the expenditure of funds that may be involved, the depot quartermaster returns to the officer from whom received and furnishes a new color, standard, or guidon. Upon receipt of new silk colors, standards, or guidons, commanding officers cause those replaced to be numbered and retained by the organization to which they belong as mementos of service, a synopsis of which, bearing the same number, will be filed with the records of the organization.