Pattern: N/A flag; crimson red silk shawl, red field and fringe with gold painted leather letters and stars; silk and leather. On obverse, motto, "God and Our Rights". On reverse, inscription, unit name and date: "Dec. 12 1861". Conserved.
Stars: Eleven stars remaining (of original 12); made of leather painted gold; 5-point stars forming Latin Cross.
Border: 1 inch crocheted border on 4 sides; 4 inches macramé fringe on 3 sides.
Unit Designation: "Florida Marion Light Artillery" on reverse.
Battle Honors: None.
|Dimensions||H-43 W-41 inches|
|Owned||Mary Elizabeth Dickison [Mrs. J. J. Dickison] ; Ella Neal|
|Owner Regiment||Marion Light Artillery, Florida Battery|
|Made||unidentified women of Florida; Ladies of Orange Lake Soldiers Association|
Flag of the Marion Light Artillery, Florida Battery. Made by the Ladies of Orange Lake Soldiers Association from a shawl which was part of Mary Elizabeth (Mrs. J.J.) Dickison's bridal clothes. Presented to the unit at Camp Lankford, Florida, April 1862. Flag pole not believed to be in Museum. The staff which originally held the flag had a silver spear head which was made from a silver comb that Mrs. Dickison wore on her wedding night, the rings attaching staff and the ferrule were made from jewelry given by the ladies of Orange Lake, Marion County.
When Sherman's army was approaching Atlanta in 1864, Lt. A. J. Neal, noting that the flag would not be safe in the rear, sent the retired flag to his father and family in Zebulon, Georgia, approximately 50 miles due south of Atlanta. It was not until April of 1865, as Union troops approached Zebulon, Georgia, that the family separated the shawl, staff, and spear final and hid each in different locations: the staff was hidden in the garden, the flag under Neal's daughter's over skirt, and the finial and jewelry hidden in secret pockets in Mrs. Neal's dress. The latter were discovered and taken, but the flag remained hidden.
[A poem regarding the flag by Lt. Col. Stockton is in the flag file.]
A published article regarding the red shawl flag of the Marion Light Artillery describes the reputed circumstances of how the silver and gold flag staff attachments, ferule, and lance where seized by Federal soldiers from the daughter of a Col. Neale, erroneously noting that this occurred during the siege of Atlanta.
unidentified women of Florida
Dickison, Mary Elizabeth Ligon [Mrs. J. J.]
Neal, A. J.
items hidden from Union soldiers
items made from women's clothing