Sunday, January 16, 2011

Flag of the Confederate Coast Guard?

Ensign of Confederate Revenue Cutter Service
or would've been "Confederate Coast Guard"

This is probably the least known of Confederate Flags. The flag of the Confederate Revenue Service - also called the Confederate Revenue Marine. Before the War Between the States the US Revenue Cutter Service was the old name of the US Coast Guard - established by Alexander Hamilton on August 4, 1790.

The US Revenue Cutter Service changed her name when she 'married' the US Life Saving Service in 1915. The US Life Saving Service was created in 1848 by a Jersey Congressman - William A. Newell originally born in Ohio.

Flag of Union Revenue Cutter Service
since 1799 & US Coast Guard in 1915
Arms of the US Life Saving Service
Created in 1848 - joined forces with
US Revenue Cutter Service that became
US Coast Guard in 1915

Thus from a certain point of view, the banner of the Confederate Revenue Cutter Service is the flag of the "Confederate Coast Guard."

The Union Revenue Cutter Service had her own flag that was created in 1799. Naturally, the South was obligated to create a new Revenue Cutter Service Flag upon secession.

One more interesting fact, just before the US Civil War in 1853 - the USRC Jefferson Davis was launched. She was named and launched under president Pierce. The USRC Jefferson Davis was then named in honor of the Secretary of War - who later rose to the highest office in the Confederacy.

Model of USRC Jefferson Davisin Seattle Coast Guard Museum

The USRC Jefferson Davis did not participate in the Civil War but did suppress a Native American Rebellion in the North Pacific. During her 'action' she would have flown what is now known as the US Coast Guard Flag. The poetic irony is that the Jefferson Davis went to war with Washington. Washington Territory that is to suppress a Native American rebellion, just before Washington DC went to war with an American Native - President Jefferson Davis. Washington Territory was also created in 1853 like the USRC Jefferson Davis, as Jefferson Davis is the would be George Washington of the Confederacy.

Also note that the US Coast Guard uses a different flag when marching on parade or on land. You would normally only see the 16 vertically striped Coast Guard flag at sea.

Learn More about the US Revenue and Cutter Service and the Confederate version here at US

US Civil War 150 Ago Today - part 3

No comments:

Post a Comment