Friday, September 5, 2014

Reproduction National Colors (Ladies' Flag), and Updates!

Full size b&w image of the painted eagle in the canton of the "Ladies' Flag."
I'm sorry to say the my few days of delay has turned into over 2 years.  I am glad to say that I have found some very interesting new information to add to the stockpile that I had previously.  I hope to start catching up on post for 1864 very soon, and eventually fill back in the missing dates from 1862-63.

I do have very good news to report...and I'm quite happy to say that I have been very busy working on some other projects that relate to the 30th Massachusetts Infantry...namely, I have recently been working to create a full scale reproduction on the "Ladies' Flag" that was presented to, and carried by the 30th in 1864.


For the last few months, my wife and I have been working hard to make a full sized copy of the "Ladies' Flag," with the intent of my taking it to a few key anniversaries for the 30th Massachusetts.  Later this month on Sept. 19th, it will be the 150th Anniversary of the 3rd Battle of Winchester (Opequon).  It was in this battle that my own GGG Grandfather Michael Harkins was wounded.  Next month, on Oct. 19th, it will be 150 years since the Battle of Cedar Creek, where the 30th Massachusetts made a valiant stand, and by the end of the day was the first regiment to place its colors (the Ladies' Flag) on its recaptured earthworks.  With these anniversaries coming up, I felt it would be quite fitting to reproduce that flag and bring it to the fields and streams it fought over 150 years ago.

The National Park Service is putting together a large number of programs to highlight these battles, and in a future post I will try to provide some links and highlight what those programs will be.  They promise to be quite educational, and well worth attending for anyone who is in the region.  Around those battles, I will try to release more information on this sight that I have accumulated, including some photos of the men, rosters of those present for the fight at Cedar Creek, and other information as well.

In the meantime I will add a few posts showing the details of the construction of the "Ladies' Flag" reproduction.  This being the first in the series, I will start by sharing photos from the painting and sewing tests done before the construction, and the construction itself resulting in a flag blank without any details upon it.  This won't be a fully detailed step by step process, but just a small peek at some of the stages.
Testing gold paint for the stars.
Testing paint for the battle honors.
More paint and font tests for the honors.
Two sample stripes.
Checking the seams on the sample stripes.

Settling on the fonts and paint style.
After testing to see how the materials and paints would all come together, it was time to start making the different segments of the flag, and eventually join them together into the full flag blank.

3 main segments laid together.
The main joint of the 3 segments.
What the finished blank should look like.

Testing the blank in the breeze.
Finished and mounted for a test.





















In the next post I'll share some of the images from painting the canton for the flag.

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