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Flag Project

     For quite awhile I have been kicking around the concept of attempting to reproduce the 10th Dragoon's Regimental Flag. Given the attachment that the original veterans of the unit had to this symbol of their service I wanted to make sure of several things.
1. That we had the approval of the living unit veterans to undertake such a project.
2. That the reproduced flag would be close to but not an exact copy of the original to ensure the sanctity of the WWII flag.
3. The flag had to be of a high enough quality to honor those who died under its folds.
4. Since we are a volunteer organization, cost would be a major factor.

     As the highest ranking survivor of the original regiment,  Lt Col. Karcz gave us the go-ahead to reconstruct the flag in the name of the veterans. Step number one had been fulfilled. In an effort to realize step #2, we had to alter minor construction characteristics on the flag and one symbol. This was relatively easy, as the only original photos we had to work with lacked some detail.

This was the original artist's sketch during the war

As you can see, this was difficult to work with. The only picture we have of the flag once it was fully constructed and presented to the unit is below.

Again, the details were not sufficient to create a truly accurate copy. At this point, I contracted the help of our resident artist, Craig Gravina, who had previously designed our WWII Polish LHG logo. He digitally scanned in and enhanced the original pictures and was able to gain enough clarity to accurately render the flag. We were very happy with the results.

Here is Craig's concept of the eagle side of the flag. The wreath detail was gleaned from the original and then altered a bit to enhance the detail. The eagle was taken from another period Polish flag, which had a better image. It differs from the WWII Dragoon eagle, in that there is not a super-imposed image of Our Lady of Czestochowa in the middle of the eagle's breast. We felt it would be far too hard to embroider this and do the iconic image justice.

The reverse side was not as much of a challenge as our original images were much cleaner. This allowed Craig to give us an extremely accurate reproduction of the original.
     The next step was to send Lt Col. Karcz our artist's concept and gain his approval. We were very pleased to receive his approbation. In so doing, he also contacted representatives of the current active duty regiment in Poland and received their approval as well.  Now we needed to find an embroiderer capable of the undertaking but within our budget.
     Our site had been contacted by Mr. Shakeel Latif of Mecano Star Enterprises in Pakistan concerning reproducing insignia. Although we were not in the market for that particular product, I was very enthusiastic about the various flag reproductions on his web site. After discussing the project details and pricing, Mr. Latif agreed to a contract to reproduce our flag. I have been very pleased with his communication throughout the process and the timeliness of his work. He can be reached at Below are pictures of the flag reproduction in progress.

It appears Mr. Latif is silk screening the base images onto the flag and then embroidering over the top. The detail is remarkable. Our flag is due to be completed by early June. I will update this page as progress continues.

Update 5/28/09 - The flag is almost completed and ready for shipment from Pakistan. Once it arrives I will begin work on the flag pole and eagle mounting atop. The embroidery detail on the eagles is quite impressive.


Update - September 6th we attended the Polish - American ethnic festival in Doylestown, PA at the shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa. By this time I had fashioned a close copy of the original flag topper. Our next step was to get it officially blessed by a priest. I had approached the staff at the shrine about doing something low key perhaps at our display area or maybe even in the church. I was somewhat shocked when Father Tadeusz told us it would be during the festival opening ceremonies in their large ampitheater. After singing the Polish and American national anthems I was requested to make a brief statement concerning the history of the flag and why it was being blessed.

After my announcment Father Tad proceeded with the actual blessing. The flag is being carried by our member Zach Mateja.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at the Shrine for their help getting this blessing accomplished. Our next step will be to have a formal dedication ceremony with representatives of the Army of the Republic of Poland. Stay tuned, more to come. 

Update - September 29

On September 19th during the annual WWII weekend at Eisenhower Farm NPS our unit was truly honored by the presence of the staff from the Polish embassy in Washington D.C. to participate in an official flag dedication ceremony. BrigGen. L. Soczewica the Polish Military Attache and his assistant LtCol. R. Nowak drove up to officiate. The ceremony followed along the lines of the original that took place over 68 years ago in Scotland. The General officially dedicated our flag on behalf of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland. LtCol. Jan Karcz, original veteran of the unit was going to fly in from his home in North Carolina as well however he was taken gravely ill a mere week before the ceremony. Into the breach stepped Col. J. Karcz USAR (ret). Col Karcz is Jan Karcz's nephew. He was kind enough to speak on his uncle's behalf concerning his family history and the attachment Jan has with our recreated unit. We were very honored by his attendance.
The ceremony was well attended by many visitors to the park site. In addition to the official dedication we also hosted a brief reception for the embassy staff and WWII Polish LHG members. The food was coordinated and displayed by Linda Neri to whom we are very grateful. We would also like to thank Ranger Richard Lemmers from the NPS who helped set up the ceremony details between our organization and the NPS.
Johnny Wheeler of the recreated 601 RAF squadron recorded the ceremony via video to keep for posterity. The film can be downloaded via our "Video Downloads" section on this website in partitions to allow for faster viewing.
The following individuals are pictured above.

Top row left to right; Gen. Soczewica, Richard Holliday, LtCol. Nowak, Darrell Henning, Brian Neri, Zach Mateja.

Bottom row left to right; Col. Karcz, Chris Petronis, Chris Moore