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Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.

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1st Kansas Colored Infantry flag

1st Kansas Colored Infantry flag
Date: between 1862 and 1864
Blue silk regimental flag of the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry, the first African American regiment from a northern state in the Civil War. Recruitment began August 1862, although they weren't mustered into Federal service until January 13, 1863. They saw their first action at Island Mound, Mo., October 29, 1862. The flag bears the names of eight battle honors. In 1864 the regiment was redesignated the 79th United States Colored Regiment.


20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry flag

20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry flag
Date: between 1898 and 1899
Silk regimental flag of the Twentieth Kansas Volunteer Infantry, which served in the Spanish-American War from 1898 to 1899. The flag is blue with the State Seal in the center. Gold fringe is attached to three sides. The regiment saw service in the Philippines, both in combat and as an occupation force at the conclusion of the fighting. Frederick Funston served as its commander. The Twentieth was the only of the four Kansas regiments to see action during the war.


6th Kansas Cavalry flag

6th Kansas Cavalry flag
Date: 1861
This national flag was carried by the 6th Kansas Cavalry during the Civil War. Established at Fort Scott, Kansas, in July 1861, the unit started out as a "Home Guard," meant to protect citizens living in counties along the state's eastern border from guerilla raiders. In the spring of 1862, the unit was organized as a cavalry regiment. During the course of the war, the 6th Kansas fought in skirmishes in Missouri and Arkansas, preventing Confederate troops from moving farther north. The unit also participated in the Camden Expedition, a Union military campaign meant to secure Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas in Northern hands. As part of the expedition, they fought in the Battle of Jenkins' Ferry and the Battle of Prairie Grove, among others. The 6th Kansas mustered out on August 27, 1865, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.


8th Kansas Volunteer Infantry flag

8th Kansas Volunteer Infantry flag
Date: between 1862 and 1866
This flag belonged to Eighth Kansas Volunteer Regiment, which was recruited in 1862 and mustered out in 1866. The Eighth Kansas went farther east than any other Kansas unit, fighting in the battles of Chickmauga and Chattanooga, and taking part in the Atlanta campaign.


Admit Me Free flag

Admit Me Free flag
Date: 1856
In 1856 this cotton and wool flag was used by Walter Whitehead in a rally at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for Republican presidential nominee John C. Fremont. The oversized 33rd star and the words, "Admit Me Free" in the canton of the flag are in support of Kansas admittance as a free state. It was also used in the 1860 presidential campaign for Abraham Lincoln and other political campaigns.


American flag

American flag
Creator: United States. Navy
Date: between 1940 and 1942
Wool forty-eight star U.S. flag. Appliqued stars. National Ensign from the USS Ralph Talbot, a destroyer in the U.S. Navy fleet. The Talbot was anchored at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked, but made it out of the area with no damage or casualties. The Talbot was later involved in the Battle of the Marshalls and Gilberts in February of 1942 and the Battle of Wake and Marcus Islands in March of 1942. The flag was the USS Ralph Talbot's streaming colors, flying behind the smokestacks when the ship was underway. It was flown on the Talbot as it steamed out of Pearl Harbor. Sharitt Baker acquired the flag while serving on the USS Ralph Talbot during the war. Baker was born in Topeka in 1917 and enlisted in the Navy in 1938. He was assigned to the Talbot as a Third Class Petty Officer in 1939 or 1940. The flag was exchanged for a new one by the Quartermaster just before dawn on February 1, 1942, the morning of the raids on the Marshall and Gilbert Islands. While it was standard procedure to burn a flag once it was retired, Baker received tacit permission from the Quartermaster to keep the flag. While still on the Talbot, Baker stored the flag under his mattress to keep it flat.


Confederate States of America flag

Confederate States of America flag
Date: between 1861 and 1863
A cotton and wool Confederate States of America flag, it's history has been lost. The phrase, "Emblem of the Lost Cause," was added after the war. The flag is based on the Confederate First National pattern. The flag was received by the Historical Society from Alfred J. Diehl, a color sergeant in the 86th Illinois Infantry.


Coronado flag

Coronado flag
Date: 1941
This red and yellow wool flag commemorates the 400th anniversary of Coronado's journey through Kansas in 1541, during his expedition of the southwestern United States. Coronado traveled with a large group of Spaniards, Native Americans, and Father Juan Padilla. Both Coronado and Padilla are depicted on the flag.


Exchange of Flags Between Kansas & Philadelphia

Exchange of Flags Between Kansas & Philadelphia
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: 1915
This file includes general correspondence relating to the exchange of flags between Kansas and Philadelphia. Topics included, but not limited to, in the correspondence is Kansas Statehood birthday, exchanging state flags with Philadelphia to commemorate the work of President Abraham Lincoln, and arrangements organizing the flag exchange. This file is part of a bigger collection of Governor Arthur Capper correspondence.


Filipino flag

Filipino flag
Date: between 1898 and 1899
Tattered red, white, and blue Filipino flag. The flag was found in a footlocker that belonged to Claude Spurlock (1877-1953), who was born in Perry, Kansas. Spurlock probably acquired the flag while fighting with the 20th Kansas Infantry Regiment in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War. While there, Spurlock worked as an instructor to Filipino forces. He later returned to Kansas and worked in the meatpacking industry in Kansas City.


Flag

Flag
Date: between 1937 and 1945
United States jack flag flown on the USS Wichita battleship, a heavy cruiser launched in 1937. Nicknamed "The Wicked Witch," the USS Wichita served in the North Atlantic and Pacific oceans during World War II. Margaret Ayres Weigester, the ship's honorary sponsor, acquired this item. Margaret was the daughter of William A. Ayres, a Congressman from Wichita, Kansas.


General James G. Blunt's flag

General James G. Blunt's flag
Date: between 1861 and 1864
This flag was presented to General Blunt by a group of ladies from Leavenworth. This group purchased the banner from a New York firm.


Japanese flag

Japanese flag
Date: 1944
White silk inscribed Japanese flag. These flags were given to Japanese soldiers during World War II. Carried for good luck, the flags were adorned with patriotic phrases by family and friends. Allied soldiers in the Pacific Theater often captured the flags and brought them home as trophies. Markings indicate this flag belonged to a Japanese Naval officer stationed at Nanjing, China, and Kure Naval Base, Japan. The flag was acquired in Leyte, Philippines, site of a major battle between Japanese and Allied forces in 1944.


Kansas state flag

Kansas state flag
Date: 1984
A small Kansas state flag carried on the first mission of Space Shuttle Discovery by Steven Hawley. Hawley was born in 1951 in Ottawa, Kansas, but grew up in Salina. After graduating from Salina High School, Hawley attended the University of Kansas where he graduated with honors in 1973 with degrees in physics and astronomy. He received a doctor of philosophy in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of California in 1977. Dr. Hawley was selected to join NASA's astronaut program in 1978 and flew on five missions.


Miniature US flag

Miniature US flag
Date: 1899
Miniature US flag awarded to veterans of the 20th Kansas Infantry Regiment at a commemorative reception in Topeka, Kansas, on November 2, 1899. The flag was found in a footlocker that belonged to Claude Spurlock (1877-1953), who was born in Perry, Kansas. Spurlock fought with the 20th Kansas Infantry Regiment in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War. While there, he worked as an instructor to Filipino forces. He later returned to Kansas and worked in the meatpacking industry in Kansas City.


Proslavery flag

Proslavery flag
Date: 1855
This flag was created by proslavery Missourians who captured free state supporter Reverend Pardee Butler of Atchison in April 1855. The proslavery men sent Butler adrift on a raft down the turbulent Missouri River with this flag flying from it. The Missourians wanted others to know that the minister had helped slaves escape. Although he was expected to drown, Butler survived.


Quantrill's Flag

Quantrill's Flag
Date: 1862
Small cotton and wool flag measuring 7 inches x 13 inches. The pattern is similar to the Confederate First National Flag, popularly known as the "Stars and Bars." Instead of stars, the canton has an image that has been described as either a fist or a crude representation of the South Carolina palmetto tree. The flag features the first five letters of the last name of notorious proslavery guerrilla William Clarke Quantrill. This flag was picked up in Olathe, Kansas by resident Jonathan Milliken after Quantrill's raid of that city on September 7, 1862. The flag probably was dropped by one of Quantrill's men.


Southern Rights flag

Southern Rights flag
Date: 1856
Pro-slavery forces carried this cotton flag while attacking the anti-slavery stronghold of Lawrence in Douglas County, Kansas Territory. Douglas County Sheriff Samuel Jones led the group that sacked Lawrence on May 21, 1856. A group of South Carolinians led by Captain F.G. Palmer and known as the Palmetto Guards participated in the attack, and flew their "Southern Rights" flag over the Herald of Freedom newspaper offices and the Free State Hotel before setting fire to and destroying the buildings. On Sept. 11, 1856, Palmer's men--and their flag--were captured on Slough Creek, near Oskaloosa, Jefferson County, by Free-State men led by Col. James Harvey.


Spanish-American War flag

Spanish-American War flag
Date: 1899
Spanish flag signed by men of Company E from the 20th Kansas, Spanish-American War. Flag was captured by these men during the war.


Stars & Bars flag

Stars & Bars flag
Date: 1861
Flag captured at Iaton, Missouri, on June 3, 1861, by members of companies A and I of the 1st Regiment Kansas Volunteer Infantry. This flag is considered to be the Confederate 1st National flag, "Stars & Bars."


State Flags

State Flags
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: February 1915
This file includes correspondence and postcards; correspondence from Secretary of States describe the colors, fabric, dimensions, and symbolism of their state flag. The postcard, if provided, shows the graphical design of each state flag. Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by state. This file is part of a bigger collection of Governor Arthur Capper correspondence.


Twentieth Army Corps, First Division, Third Brigade flag

Twentieth Army Corps, First Division, Third Brigade flag
Date: 1863
This is the cotton and wool brigade flag of the Twentieth Army Corps, First Division, Third Brigade. The 8th Kansas Infantry was a regiment in this brigade, as was the 15th Wisconsin Infantry. When Colonel Hans Heg of the 15th Wisconsin was killed at Chickamauga, Colonel John Martin of the 8th Kansas took command of the brigade. Martin presented Governor Thomas Carney with the flag at Leavenworth in April, 1864.


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