: This flag has a red field with two blue scrolls which are lettered in gold "Department of Ohio G.A.R." Centrally featured is a 5-pointed star metal which represents five branches of the military. The inner seal reads "Grand Army of the Republic Veterans 1861-1866" An eagle clutches a sword above two cannons and two white embroidered stars hang overhead. The flag is made of silk and measures 120 by 170 cm.
Benjamin Stephenson founded the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) on April 6, 1866, in Decatur, Illinois. Stephenson intended to form an organization of veterans of the American Civil War that would provide them with political influence and opportunities to meet socially. Any veteran who was honorably discharged from the United States Army, Navy, and Marine Corps qualified for membership.
National membership in the organization peaked in 1890 at a little over 409,000, and membership in the state of Ohio peaked at 49,011 in that same year. One GAR retirement home became the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphans' Home in 1870. The GAR established the home in 1869, and the state government assumed control of it in 1870 to provide Ohio veterans and their children with assistance.
The GAR continued to operate until 1956, when the final member (Albert Woolson) died at the age of 109. The last national encampment had occurred seven years earlier in 1949. The Grand Army of the Republic was responsible for making Memorial Day a national holiday.
View on Ohio Memory.
: H65514_001 Subjects
: Ceremonial artifact; Communication artifact; Military flags; Grand Army of the Republic; Flags--Ohio; United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Veterans; Textile--silk; Places