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|At the start of the Civil War, the Federal Army was for the most part organized from volunteer regiments recruited by the Northern states. During the first year of the War the states provided all the equipment, including uniforms and flags, for these units. In early 1862, however, the federal government took over responsibility for equipping state volunteers. To meet the need for a color for each unit, the U.S. Quartermaster Department contracted for flags through each of its regional depots. Surprisingly, each depot had its own pattern to guide the contractors in the production of flags.
While the national colors provided to the New York and Cincinnati Q.M. depots had their stars arranged in horizontal rows, the pattern favored by the
Philadelphia Depot arranged the stars in two concentric rings around a central star and filled out the canton with four corner stars. National colors and the accompanying blue regimental colors were issued to volunteer units unmarked with regimental designations. Unit commanders were responsible for properly inscribing the center stripes and the scrolls of the flags after receipt. This flag was never marked with its unit designation.