Last modified: 2015-04-04 by rick wyatt
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image by Dan Nullsig, 26 August 2003
Units would also add lettering and other art work to their First National flags. The 5th Kentucky regiment had the letters "C" and "G" embroidered on their flag in beautiful knot work to stand for their name: "Citizen's Guard." It was also common for Kentucky units to use the Roman Cross motif, symbolising
their Christian heritage.
Dan Nullsig, 26 August 2003
The Citizens Guard was only Company B of the 5th/9th Kentucky Infantry. it was a pre-American Civil War militia unit of the Kentucky State Guard. The regiment is actually the 9th Kentucky Infantry. It was originally called the 5th but there was already another 5th Kentucky Regiment so they had to change their number to the 9th.
Some Kentucky regiments used flags with a Latin/Christian cross on them. The most prominent are those flags for Gen. Breckinridge's Division which adopted blue flags with large red Latin crosses adorned by 13 white stars after May, 1862. These flags were not only for Kentucky troops but for all regiments of the division. Some Alabama regiments did the same with Latin crosses.
Gen. John Bowen's Division used blue flags with white Latin crosses on them and Gen. Carter Stevenson used red flags with white Latin crosses on them at the time of Vicksburg. These were replaced by other patterns after the surrender of the city.
Latin cross flags did meet with objections in the South during the American Civil War. First, the Jewish communities, mainly in Charleston, objected as did some fundamentalist Christian groups who felt that the flags were misusing their religious symbols. I have letters from both sides in my files on this regard. One, from an Arkansas soldier, railed against what he felt was a "catholic" symbol (the flag in question was of the Bowen pattern). To make sure his wife knew what he was talking about he drew the flag on the letter in color!
Greg Biggs, 27 August 2003