Army Of The Ohio

Ohio Battle Flag Collection

The Ohio Battle Flag collection is one of the largest collections of battle flags in the country. It includes nearly five hundred flags, three-quarters of which are from the Civil War. For the soldiers who carried them, the flags served as symbols of the state and country they were fighting to protect. Historians view the collection as a physical representation of Ohio's military history. Families and local historians see the flags as tangible links to the members of their families and communities who participated in the Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II.

The history of the flag collection begins in the mid 19th century and continues to evolve as new efforts to preserve the collection are undertaken. Because the battle flags are a cherished link to Ohio's military past, the State of Ohio, its veterans and citizens, have always been deeply concerned about the flags care and display.

During the Civil War, the number of regiments in the field and the frequent formation of new units created a high demand for flags. Flag making became a lucrative business. For the first months of the war, states were responsible for supplying their troops and relied on manufacturers in their state or region to obtain flags. Beginning in 1862, the federal government accepted the responsibility of equipping troops raised for federal service. During the course of the Civil War, the Union government obtained 2,400 national flags, 2,350 regimental flags and 10,200 guidons from the military supply houses in Cincinnati, New York and Philadelphia.

For additional information on the Ohio Battle Flag Collection, please visit