www.creativecockades.com How Ladies Wore Cockades There is a lot of documentation that women wore cockades, as well as men. But how did they wear th

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This fashionable lady has a rosette at her collar. There is no note on the picture to tell us if it is a political cockade or merely decorative.

How Ladies Wore Cockades

There is a lot of documentation that women wore cockades, as well as men. But how did they wear them? On their bonnets? In their hats? On their shoulders?

The answer: All of the above!

There are many references in the newspapers, memoirs, and letters of the times talking about ladies wearing cockades, and there are even a few photographs. That's how I've learned how ladies of the 1860s wore their cockades.

Texas lady


The New York Times printed a report from New Orleans in November 1860 which said, What gave peculiar interest to this grand display of beauty, grace, and elegance, was the exhibition of blue cockades worn on the shoulders of nearly all the ladies who appeared in public.

As you can see in this photo, a simple choice for pinning on a cockade was to place it on your shoulder.

cockade hat

My 1860s hat with a blue secession cockade on it


A quote from Grander in Her Daughters says, Journalists covering the growing groundswell for secession in Tampa noted that blue cockades pinned in ladies' hats were "a token of resistance to abolitionist rule - an appropriate graceful little emblem that evinces the true spirit of the wearers."

Fannie Beers wrote in her memoirs of the war, Hats and bonnets of all sorts and sizes were made of straw or palmetto, and trimmed with the same. Most of them bore cockades of bright red and white (the "red, white, and red"), fashioned of strips knitted to resemble ribbons. Some used emblems denoting the State or city of the wearer, others a small Confederate battle-flag.

Ladies' hats were usually decorated with ribbons and flowers so it would have been easy to nestle a lovely cockade in the hat's decorations.



Gideon Lincecum of Texas wrote on December 3, 1860, Mass meetings, conventions, and minute men is all the go. Lone Star flags and blue cockades are fluttering to every breeze and glittering on every hat, as well as on the breast of many of our patriotic ladies.

This could refer to pinning a cockade on the lady's shoulder but it might also have referred to placing it in the center of her bodice, like this woman did.

Lady with neck cockade 2

Though we don't know if it is a political cockade or not, this lady has her cockade pinned at her collar


Brenda McKean recalled in her memoirs, Patriotic individuals were sporting secession badges on their lapels and bonnets. Described as folded blue ribbons, some badges were red, white, and blue ribbons. Others wore a flower posy called a Southern badge, which consisted of a cluster of hyacinths and arborvitae tied with red/white/blue ribbons. Other men preferred a rosette of pinecones. Both men and women wore blue cockades during secession in Rockingham County, N.C.

The Daily Exchange noted in December 1860, Many of the ladies of Richmond now wear the secession rosette in their bonnets, while others show the Union colors, red, white and blue.

So if you are a lady who wants to know where to wear your cockade... you have many options!


Cockades for Ladies

I have many cockades in my shop that ladies love to wear!

If you are looking for a cockade from your state, or simply want a generic Union or Secession cockade, take a look at what I have listed or contact me directly to create a special one for you!

You might also enjoy looking at my Pinterest board of ladies' cockades and political emblems.


Back issues of the Cockade Column are available on my Pinterest site. Enjoy reading the ones you missed! If you are reading this online and want it to come right to your inbox, you can sign up on this form.

Thanks for reading... see you next week!

~Heather Sheen
Owner, Creative Cockades

Every Cockade Has A Story To Tell!

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