Printed flag on silk, 7.25 x 11.25 in., framed, 13 x 22 in. Inscription on stripe: "18th US Infentry (sic)." Ca 1918.
The 18th Infantry Regiment was organized in New York in June 1917 and assigned to the 1st Expeditionary Division. In May 1918, the regiment took part in the battle of Contigny, the initial offensive action conducted by US military forces against the Germans. The regiment was awarded two French Croix de Guerre and the French Fourragere for its part in the Soissons offensive around Exermont.
The shoulder patch dates back to World War I. According to one of the legends about its origin, during the build-up and training days of 1917, an officer decided the 1st First Division needed a suitable patch and cut a crude numeral “1” from his red flannel underwear, placing it on a piece of grey cloth from a captured soldier’s uniform. In October 1918, a red “1” on a solid olive green background was approved as the official patch of the division. Known as the “Big Red One,” it is the oldest continuously serving division in the US Army.
Provenance:J. Richard Pierce Collection of American Parade Flags
Toning, minor staining. Adhesive used along top edge to mount flag on board. Patch in very good condition, adhesive used to mount patch to board.
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