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Treasury Guard Flag

Treasury Guard Flag- Philadelphia, 1864Philadelphia, 1864
Gift of Dr. Robert M. Yergason, 1922.4.1

Extensive research and eyewitness accounts confirm that this flag was in the hands of President Abraham Lincoln at the moment he was shot. It is one of five flags that decorated the Presidential box at Ford’s Theater on April 14, 1865. The theater had borrowed several flags for the occasion, including this one from the Treasury Department.

The Treasury Guard regiment was made up of employees of the Treasury Department, and according to its painted inscription, this silk flag was presented to the regiment by “the Ladies of the Treasury Dept.” in 1864. In addition to the standard thirteen red and white stripes, the flag has a painted blue canton with a white star for each of the 35 states in the Union at the time.

The flag was donated to the Connecticut Historical Society in 1922, but remained folded in a display box until it was rediscovered in 1998 during a reassessment of the CHS’s Civil War collection. The flag is mounted “backwards” to display its more decorative reverse side.