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NEWS | June 2, 2023

Nebraska National Guard unveils new flag

By Staff Sgt. Lisa Crawford Joint Force Headquarters - Nebraska National Guard

The Nebraska National Guard unveiled a new flag June 2, 2023, during a ceremony at the Joint Force Headquarters in Lincoln.

With his retirement upcoming, Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac, Nebraska’s adjutant general, requested the design of a joint flag to be used during future change of command ceremonies to pass from the outgoing adjutant general to the incoming adjutant general.

Historically, the State Area Command, Nebraska National Guard headquarters flag – commonly referred to as the “corn-cob flag” – has been used for this ceremony. While that flag includes the official crest of the Nebraska National Guard which dates back to at least 1924, there were some concerns it was mostly representative of the Army National Guard, and not entirely inclusive of the joint force serving in Nebraska today.

With the guidance to design a more inclusive Nebraska National Guard flag to be used for the upcoming TAG Change of Command ceremony – and to represent the Nebraska National Guard as a whole moving forward – a committee of Soldiers, Airmen and civilians from across the state was formed. The diverse committee of 14 researched military colors and historical symbolism, solicited new ideas, narrowed down specifics and ultimately designed a new flag to reflect the robust heritage of the Nebraska National Guard.

The Nebraska National Guard flag includes:

• A diagonally bilateral divide from lower hoist to upper fly, with ultramarine blue above red. The blue represents the Air National Guard, and is across the top of the flag to represent the rising presence of air forces.

• The red represents the Army National Guard, and is across the bottom of the flag to represent the presence of ground forces. The diagonal moves from the bottom left to the top right in representation of forces moving from the ground to the air during take off, and rising from a rich historical past to a bright unified future.

• In the top left corner is a singularly-winged sword with five stars – one larger in yellow, the other four smaller in red – resting on the blue upper field. Blue and yellow are the Air Force colors. Blue alludes to the sky, the primary theater of Air Force operations. Yellow refers to the sun and the excellence required of Air Force personnel. The sword reflects the power of defense and the commitment to defend the nation and world peace. The wing represents the achievement of those goals through the unit's assigned flying mission. The yellow star signifies excellence and the quest for perfection by personnel of the Nebraska Air National Guard. The red stars suggest the Nebraska Air National Guard as a whole organization comprised of smaller separate units, all working together to produce a strong and vigorous state force. This blazon was pulled from the official emblem of the Nebraska Air National Guard headquarters.

• In the bottom right corner is a full, ripe ear of corn, partially husked, on a wreath of six twists alternating yellow and blue, resting on the bottom red field. Nebraska, known as the Cornhusker State, as a territory was originally part of the Louisiana Purchase, depicted by France’s traditional colors of yellow and blue. This crest was approved for color bearing organizations of the State of Nebraska in 1924, and was historically included on flags created for Nebraska’s adjutant general, including Lt. Gen. Guy Henninger – Nebraska’s longest serving adjutant general at 20 years and seven months, and the only Nebraskan to have held a general officer rank in both the Army and Air National Guard. The crest was later affixed to a red shield to become the official unit patch for the headquarters and headquarters detachment of the Nebraska National Guard in February 1950, and is still used for Nebraska Army National Guard elements today.

• Centered is the Minute Man based on the statue by Daniel French, in gold, representing the rich diversity of the forces within the Nebraska National Guard, detailed black facing left. Minutemen, upon which the statue and this image is based, were townspeople, mostly farmers, who lowered the plow, raised a rifle, and stepped towards the impending battle. Additionally, the plow is a symbol for the land the Minutemen were defending.

• Centered across the Minuteman is a white draped scroll inscribed in black with the words “NEBRASKA NATIONAL GUARD” and “EST.” – Established – to the left and “1854” to the right, representing the joint force and the year of its founding.

• Two white five-pointed stars are balanced along the diagonal field divide – one in the Air Force blue above, and one in the Army red below – representing the Adjutant General of Nebraska’s rank of Major General, and the “two-star command” that is the Nebraska National Guard.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Bohac thanked the committee for their attention to detail and their passion for preserving the Nebraska National Guard’s heritage and in this new flag to be carried “proudly into the future.” As a token of his appreciation, he gave each committee member a personalized new coin for excellence he had created with the Nebraska National Guard flag’s image.

The Nebraska National Guard flag will be distributed to the major subordinate commands and displayed at various locations throughout the state, including at the Nebraska National Guard Museum in Seward, Nebraska. It will be ceremoniously used for the first time July 8, 2023, during the Adjutant General Change of Command Ceremony when Bohac relinquishes command of the Nebraska National Guard over to incoming adjutant general, Brig. Gen. Craig Strong.