United States Marine Corps History and Information

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Battle Colors and Battle Streamers of the Marine Corps

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What are the Battle Streamers currently authorized for the Marine Corps?

Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., holds the official Battle Colors of the Marine Corps. A duplicate is maintained in the office of the Commandant of the Marine Corps in the Pentagon. The Battle Colors bear the same fifty streamers authorized for the Marine Corps as a whole. These streamers represent U.S. and foreign unit awards as well as those periods of service, expeditions, and campaigns in which the Marine Corps has participated from the American Revolution to today.

During the Marine Corps’ first 150 years, Marines in the field carried a variety of flags. It was not until 18 April 1925 that Marine Corps Order Number 4 designated gold and scarlet as the official colors of the U.S. Marine Corps. These colors, however, were not reflected in the official Marine Corps flag until 18 January 1939 when a new design incorporating the new colors was approved. This design was essentially that of today’s Marine Corps standard, and was the result of a two-year study concerning the design of a standard Marine Corps flag, and the units to which such a flag should be issued.

The fifty colored streamers which adorn the Battle Colors represent the history and accomplishments of the Marine Corps. The newest streamer to be added to the Battle Colors is the Kosovo Campaign Streamer, awarded for service in various Kosovo operations beginning in 1999.

Current Award, Campaign, Service, and Expeditionary Streamer Entitlement, to the Battle Colors of the Marine Corps

1. Presidential Unit Citation (Navy) Streamer with six silver and three bronze stars

2. Presidential Unit Citation (Army) Streamer with one silver oak leaf cluster

Presidential Unit Citation (Army) Streamer

3. Joint Meritorious Unit Award Streamer

Joint Meritorious Unit Award

4. Navy Unit Commendation Streamer

Navy Unit Commendation Streamer

5. Valorous Unit Award (Army) Streamer

Valorous Unit Award (Army) Streamer

6. Meritorious Unit Commendation (Navy-Marine Corps) Streamer

Meritorious Unit Commendation (Navy-Marine Corps) Streamer

7. Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) Streamer

Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) Streamer

8. Revolutionary War Streamer

Revolutionary War Streamer

9. Quasi-War with France Streamer

Quasi-War with France Streamer

10. Barbary Wars Streamer

Barbary Wars Streamer

11. War of 1812 Streamer

War of 1812 Streamer

12. African Slave Trade Streamer

African Slave Trade Streamer

13. Operations Against West Indian Pirates Streamer

Operations Against West Indian Pirates Streamer

14. Indian Wars Streamer

Indian Wars Streamer

15. Mexican War Streamer

Mexican War Streamer

16. Civil War Streamer

Civil War Streamer

17. Marine Corps Expeditionary Streamer with twelve silver stars, four bronze stars and one silver “W”

18. Spanish Campaign Streamer

19. Philippine Campaign Streamer

Philippine Campaign Streamer

20. China Relief Expedition Streamer

China Relief Expedition Streamer

21. Cuban Pacification Streamer

Cuban Pacification Streamer

22. Nicaraguan Campaign Streamer

Nicaraguan Campaign Streamer

23. Mexican Service Streamer

Mexican Service Streamer

24. Haitian Campaign Streamer with one bronze star

Haitian Campaign Streamer

25. Dominican Campaign Streamer

Dominican Campaign Streamer

26. World War I Victory Streamer with one silver and one bronze star, one Maltese Cross, and Siberia and West Indies clasps

World War I Victory Streamer

27. Army of Occupation of Germany Streamer

Army of Occupation of Germany Streamer

28. Second Nicaraguan Campaign Streamer

Second Nicaraguan Campaign Streamer

29. Yangtze Service Streamer

Yangtze Service Streamer

30. China Service Streamer with one bronze star

China Service Streamer

31. American Defense Service Streamer with one bronze star

American Defense Service Streamer

32. American Campaign Streamer

American Campaign Streamer

33. European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Streamer with one silver and four bronze stars

European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Streamer

34. Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Streamer with eight silver and two bronze stars

Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Streamer

35. World War II Victory Streamer

World War II Victory Streamer

36. Navy Occupation Service Streamer with Europe and Asia Clasps

Navy Occupation Service Streamer

37. National Defense Service Streamer with two bronze stars

National Defense Service Streamer

38. Korean Service Streamer with two silver stars

Korean Service Streamer

39. Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamer with five silver stars

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamer

40. Vietnam Service Streamer with three silver and two bronze stars

Vietnam Service Streamer

41. Southwest Asia Service Streamer with three bronze stars

Southwest Asia Service Streamer

42. Kosovo Campaign Streamer with two bronze stars

Kosovo Campaign Streamer

43. Philippine Defense Streamer with one bronze star

Philippine Defense Streamer

44. Philippine Liberation Streamer with two bronze stars

Philippine Liberation Streamer

45. Philippine Independence Streamer

Philippine Independence Streamer

46. French Croix De Guerre Streamer with two palms and one gilt star

French Croix De Guerre Streamer

47. Philippine Presidential Unit Citation Streamer with two bronze stars

Philippine Presidential Unit Citation Streamer

48. Korean Presidential Unit Citation Streamer

Korean Presidential Unit Citation Streamer

49. Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Meritorious Unit Citation of the Gallantry Cross with Palm

Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Meritorious Unit Citation of the Gallantry Cross

50. Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Civil Actions Streamer with Palm

Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Civil Actions Streamer

Reference Section
History and Museums Division

This should answer the questions:

What are the Marine Corps battle colors?
What do the battle colors represent?
How many battle streamers are there?

 

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