First African American Medal of Honor recipient honored in new graphic created by Rancho Santa Fe organization

The Spirit of Liberty Foundation and Medal of Honor Foundation have created a limited edition graphic honoring the first African American to receive the Medal of Honor, William H. Carney. The graphic has a photograph of Carney wearing his Medal of Honor and includes the Medal of Honor postage stamp, postmarked with the First Day of Issue Cancellation on Nov. 11, 2013.

Carney fought in the Civil War as a volunteer in the 54th Regiment of the Union Army. During the assault on Fort Wagner in 1863, the color guard was shot, nearly dropping the American Flag. Carney took the flag and planted it in the parapet of Fort Wagner, refusing to let it drop. He was shot twice during this effort. For this, Carney was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Carney did not receive his medal until 1900, nearly 40 years after his act of valor. He was not given a public ceremony and took it upon himself to be photographed with his medal to record himself as the first African American Medal of Honor recipient.

The graphic will be a limited edition of 150, printed by Master Print Communications and Bob Salt at Salt Printworks. The first print will be presented to President Obama. The graphic will also be given to the 45 African American members of Congress, Secretary of Defense, Postmaster General and only living African American Medal of Honor recipient, Clarence Sasser.

The remaining graphics will be available for the public to purchase. Those who wish to receive more information about purchasing the Limited Edition William H. Carney Graphic can send a request to:

The Spirit of Liberty Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to “Honor and raise awareness and support for our Armed Forces past, present and future” with an emphasis on wounded warriors, their families and families of fallen heroes.