Last modified: 2014-06-14 by rick wyatt
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image by Tom Gregg, 18 April 2001
Distinguishing Flag, Hawaiian Department, 1931 Regulations
Prior to WW II, U.S. Army commands in major overseas territories of the U.S. were called departments. A department was roughly equivilent to a crops; but besides its basic defense mission with assigned combat units, it had general responsibility for command and control of all Army units in the territory.
The distinguishing flag for departments was the same as for corps: a horizontal bicolor, blue over white, with either the name of the department centered and countercharged, or the authorized shoulder sleeve insignia (SSI) in proper colors centered. Dimensions were 3 feet at the hoist by 4 feet on the fly, and the flag was made of wool bunting.
The SSI of the Hawaiian Department was introduced in 1922. Scarlet and yellow are the old Hawaiian royal colors, the octagon shape symbolizes the eight islands of the group, and the name of the territory is indicated by a stylized "H" in yellow. In August 1944, the Hawaiian Department was redesignated the Central Pacific Base Command, but the SSI and flag remained unchanged. The SSI remains in use today, having been redesignated for the U.S. Army Garrison, Hawaii in 1994.
Tom Gregg, 18 April 2001