Veterans Exempt T-Shirts

I would not normally post advertisements here, but this evening I found that Gadsden and Culpeper has these shirts on sale for $13. They're calling them the "War of 1812 Battle of Plattsburgh" shirts, and the flag is a little different than the one Grim has up top now, but close enough for my tastes.

They also carry the flag itself, though it's a bit ... well, you can see for yourself.

There's a lot of other Tea Party and generally patriotic shirts, etc., on sale as well.

UPDATE: Does anyone have a picture of this flag? A painting in a book or something? Or do we just have a description? I'd really like to see one.


Grim said...

Just a description, I think. The original source seems to be a contemporary newspaper.

According to a newspaper in New York state, the Plattsburgh Republican (July 17th, 1812 edition), a regiment of the Veteran Exempts was formed of fifty men or a few more who had recently elected their officers.... On July 31st, the same newspaper published a description of the regiment’s flag by Miles Veteranus, which appears to be a pen named used by someone who wished to remain anonymous–perhaps because he was writing on behalf of a group rather than for himself (the Latin miles veteranus could be translated “veteran soldier”).... “It is proposed that it be a black ground with 13 stars for the Union of White, wrought in silver. That in the centre of the Flag there be a Death’s Head, with cross bones under, intimating what must soon, according to the course of nature, be their promiscuous fate, and the immediate one of any enemy who shall venture to contend with them. Under these an open wreath, with this motto, ‘Thy will he done.’ Over the Death’s Head, surmounted as a crest, a rattlesnake with Thirteen rattles, coiled, ready to strike, with this motto in a similar wreath inverted over it, ‘Dont tread on me.'”

An interesting fact about the term "Miles" in Latin: in Classical Latin, as translated here, it does mean "soldier." But in Medieval Latin, it always means "knight."

Tom said...

Interesting. Thanks for the description.

Do you know what "wrought in silver" means here?

Also, both the images I've seen of this have the death's head bottom right, not center. I wonder if the stars were in a different arrangement.

And we need an image of a rattlesnake with 13 rattles!

Grim said...

It sounds like the language of heraldry. "Wrought in silver" would mean that the color would be silver, which is traditionally in heraldry usually represented by white (for obvious reasons of expense and technical difficulty). The author was plainly versed in technical heraldry (as befits a "miles"!), as he builds the flag just the way the herald would: starting with the base color, then giving the pattern, then the charge, then the crest (here a second charge, "surmounted as a crest").

The one thing our reproduction flag probably got wrong was assembling the starts into a canton, which is not specified. If this was meant as a heraldic description, the 13 stars would be arranged like a pattern throughout the black field. If he had wanted them in a canton, he would have said so.

Tom said...

I like it. So the stars might be across the whole flag, then?

Also, would the crest be smaller than the charge? The last book on heraldry I read was ... 20 years ago?

Tom said...

Hm. Maybe I should ask a herald.

Grim said...

It is not necessary, though it is common, for the crest to be smaller than the charge. Take a look at the Army Institute of Heraldry's own heraldry (at the top left), and you'll see that the crest is about the same size as the shield, and with its supporters even larger.

I would think that the stars might be arranged as a pattern across the flag, or as semé provided that there were exactly 13 of them. But putting them in a canton is not forbidden, just not called for.