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Flag bearers did just what their name entitles, held their colors on the battlefield. In the Confederate Army each regiment had a battle flag and sometimes a state flag. In the Union Army each regiment carried a national flag as well as a regimental flag which had the eagle holding a shield. Not only were these flags a symbol of pride to the soldiers, they also had the very important job of helping to keep the men in line (you were taught to "dress" on the colors) as well as help commanders know what regiment was which and where they were on the battlefield.

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Q: What was the importance of flag bearers in the civil war?
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