By John Hart, Jr., Director
There is a long history of military officers presenting gifts to their counterparts in other countries and for the U.S. Army General Isaac D. White ’22, these gifts included lighters, swagger sticks, and textiles, including an interesting banner with his image.
After commanding the 2nd Armored Division in Europe during World War II, White was assigned as the Commanding General of the U.S. Constabulary for the European Command. Tasked with keeping the peace in post-war Germany (as well as between the U.S. and Soviet Union to an extent), White held this position for several years before becoming the Commanding General of X Corps as a newly promoted Lieutenant General in 1952. By 1953 White was assigned to Fort Sam Houston in Texas as the Commanding General of the 4th U.S. Army.
The banner was presented to White while a Lieutenant General, likely in 1954, by Divisional General (three star) Matías Ramos Santos, the Mexican Secretary of National Defense. The image on the banner, which resembles a traditional Mexican blanket, shows White wearing a X Corps patch on his shoulder and three stars on his shoulder, likely representing White from his time in Korea. The museum presumes the banner was presented to General White by General Santos during the Fort Sam Houston assignment, but no documentation exists to corroborate, however it is the most plausible as it was a gift from one three-star general to another.
The banner, along with several other of General White’s military mementos, is currently on display in the 200 Years—200 Objects exhibition.