Inscription - 2

Inscription - 2


U.S. 69th NY Infantry Tiffany Silver Pole Band.

Sub-collection: U.S. Military

U.S. 69th New York Infantry Tiffany Silver Pole Band.
U.S. 69th New York Infantry, Tiffany Silver Flagstaff Presentation Band.

Whenever the nation prepared for war there was a period of military retrenchment, units were broken up, reorganized, consolidated, or disbanded. During these periods of mobilization, large numbers of new regiments were created and older units consolidated or disbanded.

The changes in the technology of warfare produced new types of units to replace the old ones. As a result, soldiers were often tasked with serving in a regiment with little or no history. Such was the case with the 69th New York Infantry, the "Fighting Irish", a regiment that traces its roots to 1775. In 1917 preceding deployment in the First World War, the 69th New York Infantry Regiment was reassigned with a "100 series" regimental number that were being assigned to National Guard organizations; so the 69th NY was renamed the 165th U.S. Infantry Regiment. The regiment wished to retain its strong Irish identity and petitioned to keep its state designation. The Secretary of War allowed it, and the "Fighting Irish" carried their old name and colors while in Europe.

After WWI, in thanksgiving for permitting the 69th New York Infantry to carry its old colors to war, the flags were gifted, by the regiment's veterans, to the Honorable Newton D. Baker, the U.S. Secretary of War. To commemorate this presentation the 69th NY commissioned the Louis Comfort Tiffany Company made a sterling silver band for the color's flagstaff.

The use of silver bands or rings on the staff of a regiment's color began in the U.S. Army as a Battle Honor in 1890. Battle honors have their origins in antiquity. In the U.S. Army they can be traced to Gen John C. Fremont, who in 1861 ordered that units under his command could paint the name "Springfield" on their colors. Noting the positive effect Battle Honors had on unit esprit d'corps, in 1862 the U.S. War Department issued a General Order making the practice of painting Battle Honors directly on colors and standards service wide.

The order allowing the defacement of colors with Battle Honors was rescinded in 1890. Battle Honors were now to be inscribed onto silver bands or rings and affixed the unit's flagstaffs. This was the official method of displaying Battle Honors remained the silver bands until 1918 were replaced, as an economy measure, by colored ribbons, and eventually, in 1921, by the streamers used today.

To commemorate the "Battle Honor" conferred by the Secretary of War, the 69th NY commissioned Tiffany's to create a silver band to affix to the units flagstaff.

Text on the 69th NY Infantry silver band reads;

"Presented to
Hon. Newton D. Baker. Secretary of War
By the Veterans Corps 69th Regiment. N.Y.
In recognition of of the Honor Conferred on the regiment
in permitting it to carry its Regimental Colors to France.

Made by Tiffany's of New York with Tiffany's marking on the band.

ZFC Significant Flag


Madaus, Howard M.- Whitney Smith, The American Flag: Two Centuries of Concord and Conflict, VZ Publications, Santa Cruz, 2006.

Quartermaster General US Army, U.S. Army Uniforms and Equipment, 1889, reprint, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 1986.

69th Infantry Regiment (New York), Wikipedia, 13 November 2011, from:

William Joseph Donovan, Wikipedia, 13 November 2011, from:

Francis Patrick Duffy, Wikipedia, 13 November 2011, from:

Alfred Joyce Kilmer, Wikipedia, 13 November 2011, from:

Newton Diehl Baker, Jr., Wikipedia, 13 November 2011, from:

Tiffany & Co., Wikipedia, 13 November 2011, from:

The Institute of Heraldry, 4 July 2015, from:

Campaign, War Service and Unit Award Streamers, 4 July 2015, from:

Image Credits:
Zaricor Flag Collection

Hoist & Fly

Width of Hoist 1.25
Length of Fly 3.5


Are there stars on obverse? no
Are there stars on reverse? no


Has a Blood Stripe? no


Description of Crest/Emblem Silver commemorative band.


Fabric Metal


Comments on Method of Attachmen Thios silver band was designed to be held in place with a small tack.
Method of Attachment Tacks


Applique Sides Single Faced = Mirror Image Reverse


Condition Excellent
Damage Used, tarnished.
Displayable yes


Date 1919