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America's History in the Making

Resource Archive: Search Results

Sic Semper Tyrannis—22th Regt. Colored Troops

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David Bustill Bowser, SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS—22TH REGT. COLORED TROOPS (1860-70). Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Creator David Bustill Bowser
Context Regiments had unique battle flags, African-American units formed after Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation at the outset of 1863.
Audience Soldiers and anyone else who viewed the regiment
Purpose To inspire the soldiers and to communicate what the regiment was fighting for

Historical Significance

Born in Philadelphia early in 1820, David Bustill Bowser received a much better education than most African Americans and began studying art in 1831. He made a living as a barber, and then, in the 1840s, began earning money as a painter. He also became a civil rights advocate.

In 1863 he was asked to design flags for newly formed African American regiments training at Camp Penn, banners that would be carried into battle.

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