: This wool flag was presented in September 1862 to the African American men of Cincinnati who were part of the first organized group of black men employed for military purposes in the North. It is a United States national flag with 34 stars printed in a grid pattern on a blue canton. There are 13 stripes, seven red and six white. Text printed in black on fourth white stripe reads "BLACK BRIGADE OF CINCINNATI." The flag measures 40.55 by 75.59 inches (103 x 192 cm). The Black Brigade of Cincinnati was composed of 700 African American men. On September 1, 1862, all men were ordered to help defend the city, which was under martial law, from possible attacks by Southern forces. African American men, however, were not given the opportunity to volunteer, but rather were rounded up by the police on September 2. Once assembled, they built fortifications near the border between Ohio and Kentucky. After three weeks, they were released from service. Many later served in the first African American regiments organized in the North, the 54th and 55th Massachusetts and 127th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Ohio battle flags were on display at the Ohio Statehouse until the 1960s, when efforts were taken to restore the fragile flags. Some of the battle flags were on display at the Ohio Historical Center from 1970 until 1989. For conservation reasons, the flags have been in storage since 1989. The collection was photographed in the 1960s and the images are now part of the Ohio Historical Society's archival collections. View on Ohio Memory.
: Om1277_783340_001 Subjects
: Military Ohio; African American Ohioans; Civil War; Black Brigade of Cincinnati; Flags; African American soldiers Places
: Cincinnati (Ohio); Hamilton County (Ohio)