US ARMY OFFICIALS & GENERAL OFFICERS
 

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POSITIONAL COLORS & FLAGS    1923-31 REGULATIONS
 

Images Added November 2016

Color & Field & Boat Flag of the President of the United States
 

Notes
 

The drawings on this page depict the colors and flags authorized by the 1923 and 1931 regulations for individuals within the Department of War. In general, those individuals designated as supreme commanders (the Secretary of War, the Assistant Secretary of War, the General of the Armies and the Chief of Staff of the Army) were authorized a flag for outdoor display on land, a color, a combination field and boat flag, and a car flag. All others were authorized a field and boat flag and a car flag only.

The presidential color and flag were adopted in 1916 and used until 1945. The flags and colors for the Secretary and Assistant Secretaries of War and the Chief of Staff were the same as those used today for the Secretary and Undersecretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff of the Army. The 1923 regulations, however, specified three versions for the Chief of Staff, with stars according to rank. The 1931 regulations abolished the two- and three-star versions, since by then it was accepted that the Chief would always be a four-star general.

General John J. Pershing, who held the unique rank of General of the Armies, was authorized to display a special flag and color. While serving as Chief of Staff in the 1920s, however, he used the four-star Chief of Staff flag.

The 1923 regulations specified scarlet field and boat flags with white stars according to rank for all generals except the General of the Armies (General John J. Pershing), with special car flags for general officers of the staff. In the 1931 regulations, however, distinctive field and boat flags were introduced for general officers of the staff. These had a field in the primary branch color with the branch insignia in the secondary branch color and white stars according to rank. If necessary, the stars and insignia were piped with blue or white. Usually the chief of a department or branch was a major general, so that the two-starred flag was in effect that of the chief. However, if there were two or more major generals assigned, they all used the same two-starred flag. The Bureau of Insular Affairs supervised overseas US territories under military government, including at various times Puerto Rico, the Philippines and the Panama Canal Zone.

See also The US Army Air Corps, 1923-39.

Dimensions & Materials: Flags for supreme commanders were 6 feet 8 inches at the hoist by 12 feet on the fly, while colors were 4 feet 4 inches at the hoist by 5 feet 6 inches on the fly plus 2 1/2-inch fringe. All field and boat flags were 3 feet at the hoist by 4 feet 9 inches on the fly. Flags were made of wool bunting and colors were made of silk.

Credits: The drawings on these page are based on the specifications given in Army Regulation 260-10 dated February 8, 1923 and November 20, 1931, copies of which were kindly provided by FOTW Mailing List member Joseph McMillan.
 



 

COLORS & FLAGS FOR CIVILIAN OFFICIALS

 

COLOR    PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

 

COLOR    SECRETARY OF WAR

 

COLOR    ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF WAR

 

 

 

FIELD & BOAT FLAGS


COLORS FOR THE CHIEF OF STAFF
 

CHIEF OF STAFF AS GENERAL OF THE ARMIES OR GENERAL

 

CHIEF OF STAFF AS LIEUTENANT GENERAL 

 

CHIEF OF STAFF AS MAJOR GENERAL

 

GENERAL OFFICERS' RANK FLAGS

 

COLOR    GENERAL OF THE ARMIES

 

FIELD & BOAT FLAG    GENERAL

 

FIELD & BOAT FLAG    LIEUTENANT GENERAL

 

FIELD & BOAT FLAG    MAJOR GENERAL

 

FIELD & BOAT FLAG    BRIGADIER GENERAL

 

FIELD & BOAT FLAGS FOR GENERAL OFFICERS OF THE STAFF

 

THE ADJUTANT GENERAL

 

CHIEF OF CAVALRY

 

CHIEF OF INFANTRY

 

CHIEF OF COAST ARTILLERY

 

CHIEF OF FIELD ARTILLERY

 

CHIEF OF ENGINEERS

 

CHIEF, FINANCE DEPARTMENT

 

BRIGADIER GENERAL    GENERAL STAFF
 

 

BRIGADIER GENERAL
CHEMICAL WARFARE SERVICE

 

BRIGADIER GENERAL
INSPECTOR GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT

 

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL
 

 

CHIEF, MEDICAL DEPARTMENT

 

CHIEF, MILITIA BUREAU

 

CHIEF, ORDNANCE DEPARTMENT

 

BRIGADIER GENERAL
QUARTERMASTER CORPS

 

CHIEF, BUREAU OF INSULAR AFFAIRS
 



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