Infantry company flag, Goldsboro Rifles, Co. A, 27th Regiment, North Carolina Troops. The Goldsboro Rifles were a pre-war volunteer militia company organized after the October 1859 John Brown Raid on Harper’s Ferry. Silk with embroidery and fringe.
April 15, 1861, the Goldsboro Rifles received a telegram from NC Governor John W. Ellis ordering them to take the unit to Fort Macon and occupy it “in the name of the State of North Carolina.”
This silk company flag was modeled after the Confederate First National “Stars and Bars.” Students at Wayne Female College in Goldsboro made it for the men in April 1861. Originally the flag had 1 large white start with “NC” and “Goldsboro Rifles/Victory or Death!/Presented by the/Young Ladies of/Wayne Female College/April 1861” embroidered on it.
The flag was taken from the camp of the Goldsboro Rifles during the Battle of New Bern (March 1862) by men of the 27th Massachusetts and then sent to that state as a war trophy. In March 1886, veterans of the 27th Mass. returned the flag to surviving members of the Goldsboro Rifles.
Condition: the flag is in poor condition because of the deterioration of the silk components. The embroidery, fringe, and canton are all that survives besides fragments of the original silk.
Source: North Carolina Museum of History, Accession number 1922.21.1.
For more on North Carolina Museum of History’s Flag collection, see our recent webcast on preserving these pieces of history: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lysu9sYPsYE