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321st Bombardment Group (light) HHC guidon.


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This is an odd flag, one that I think I have decoded. First things first: this pattern, a flag with a stripe, is for the HHC of a group. The colors are faded on this flag, notably in fact. Were it not for the strongly blue colored letters, which are made of cotton unlike the rest of the woolen flag, I would assume that the field of the flag was actually green. The blue/yellow colors narrowed the unit type that this could've been assigned to: the Air Force or the chemical Corp. Given that I can't find any 321st chemical group, we are then left with the 321st bombardment group.


Our next step is to determine the era of the flag. I believe that flags with green lined sleeves are WW2 era, but there is nothing on that in print, and that white is post war. Additionally, the leather tabs are a lighter brown color than the earlier ones. I suspect that there is some crossover period, but these are my general rules. In the mid to late 1950s the Philadelphia Quartermaster tag was dropped, and in its place was a more elaborate tag listing the contract number and type. However, there is a complication with this flag: I believe that "group" flags were made to order. While infantry company flags are in high demand, and a blank can be stocked, there wasn't exactly a need for Air Force group guidons. This flag is obviously hand pieced, in that the bottom and top hems aren't straight. If you trace a line, you can see where the blue and yellow don't meet evenly. Perhaps these custom flags didn't have contract numbers, because there weren't any, and they instead kept the QM tags.


Okay, so post war, before the early 50s, in my opinion. Well, the 321st light group was activated in 1947, and disbanded in 1949. This fits the other clues in terms of timing, so I'm thinking that's what this is. Anyone think otherwise? When was this pattern (striped) flag introduced? It has to be a while back.



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