Term: Civil War: Battle Flags
"The flag carried to war by the First Wisconsin (3-months) Regiment was presented at Camp Scott, Milwaukee, May 8, 1861, by Mrs. George H. Walker of that city, in behalf of the ladies of Milwaukee. When the regiment, in the following August, returned to the state, the colonel, John C. Starker, kept the flag. Troops after this were enlisted for three years and the state furnished every regiment with a stand of colors consisting of two flags, one, the stars and stripes; the other, a state flag, or banner. The following joint resolution of the legislature of 1863, approved March 25, made this state banner the Wisconsin flag: "Resolved, By the senate, the assembly concurring, that the following be and is hereby adopted as the design for a state flag for the State of Wisconsin: State flag to be of dark blue silk, with the arms of the State of Wisconsin painted, or embroidered in silk, on the obverse side, and the arms of the United States, as prescribed in paragraph 1435 of the 'New Army Regulations,' painted, or embroidered in silk, on the reverse side; the name of the regiment, when used as a regimental flag, to be in a scroll beneath the state arms. The size of the regimental colors to be six feet six inches fly, and six feet deep on the pike; the length of the pike for said colors, including spear and ferule, to be nine feet ten inches; the fringe, yellow; cords and tassels, blue and white intermixed." The flags of regiments seeing long service, especially of those re-enlisting as veterans, so suffered by exposure to shot and shell and all kinds of weather that the state took them up and gave new ones to take their places. When the troops came home from the war all the flags they brought were turned over to the state to be preserved as most sacred relics of the struggle for the preservation of the Union. They were kept in the capital until the new historical library near the university was built, when Governor Scofield had them taken there. By act of the legislature of 1901 they were brought back to the capital rotunda, there to be sealed in glass cases and remain permanently. But at the time of the capital fire, February 27, 1904, they were hurriedly removed and taken again to the historical library, where they now are . Plans now made for the new capital provide for them there a safe and permanent receptacle. The most of the old flags are now so frail that they are necessarily covered with muslin gauze to hold them together."
View pictures of the Civil War at Wisconsin Historical Images.
[Source: Wisconsin: comprising sketches of counties, towns, events, institutions, and persons, arranged in cyclopedic form, ed. by Ex-Gov. Geo. W. Peck (Madison, Wis., Western Historical Association, 1906).