Battle Flags of Texans in the Confederacy (Anglais) Relié – 25 août 1995
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Some examples of mistakes. One, he appears to use a standard image of a perfectly formed 5 point star throughout (at least where such stars were appropriate). But, many of these stars were cut and sewn by hand and were less than so perfectly symmetric. The battleflag of the 4th Texas Vol. Inf (Hood's Brigade, ANV) is one example. It's stars are fatter and blunter of point arms. The larger central star is much fatter than represented in the book. Also, while the author takes care in orientating the direction of point in the stars, in the case of the 4th's flag just described, the large central star is depicted upside down. Also, another flaw in it is that the white staff side material is shown of equal size with the other three gold borders. It is actually thinner and the nail holes are visible, though that detail might be forgiven. The 4th's flad also had a streamer that might have been included as well as it's bullet holed and engraved spear point, also in the museums possession.
Then there's the wonderfully ornate 20th Reg't Texas Vol.s flag. This flag was probably detailed by a professional sign painter. It has many decorative lines, swirls and small decorative... details are all I can think to call them. The artist has failed to recreate many of those wonderful details exactly so that really, the reader only gets a good if not exact idea of how the flag truly appears. I am comparing a photo I took of the flag to the illustration as I write this. Actually, the illustration appears more hand painted than does the original flag. Again, the actual flag's stars lack the exact symmetry of the illustration's.
there are also some errors in the text.
Over all, this work is really excellent. No such work ever can be 100% accurate and I point out its flaws only to inform, not to criticize. But it is due to those flaws that I give the book only 4 stars. A nice touch would have been inset of photographs of surviving flags where available and as comparison to the illustrations.
The book itself is good sized, 8.5" x 11," well constructed book printed on heavy stock suitable for such heavy illustrations and with a dust cover. (Though the the artist's painting used may also be in error, depicting a flag used at Gettysburg more closely resembling that lost at Sharpsburg/Antietam.)
I do recommend this book.
The book is very much like Glenn Dedmondt's outstanding series of Civil War Flags of Alabama, Arkansas, Missiouri, North Carolina, and South Carolina. However, Sumrall doesn't say if the flags were captured by Union Forces during the war or were never captured. He does make note that many of the flags listed (as of 1994) are in need of restoration and preservation. The colored illustrations and photos are an excellent addition of how the flags looked when they were flown. From cavalry units, to infantry regiments, to militias each unit has their flag shown and their history told. This is an OUTSTANDING book that is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to any Civil War library and history of Texas!