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Army White Mess Jacket with four stars worn by General Colin L. Powell

Catalog Data

Manufactured by:
Marlow White, American, founded 1879  Search this
Subject of:
United States Armed Forces, American, founded 1775  Search this
United States Army, American, founded 1775  Search this
Worn by:
General Colin L. Powell, American, 1937 - 2021  Search this
Owned by:
General Colin L. Powell, American, 1937 - 2021  Search this
polyester with brass and silk
Chest: 19 7/8 in. (50.5 cm)
L x W: 25 3/16 × 17 11/16 in. (64 × 45 cm)
military uniforms
Place used:
Washington, District of Columbia, United States, North and Central America
ca. 1989-1993
Colin Luther Powell was born in Harlem, New York, on April 5, 1937. He graduated from Community College of New York in 1958 and earned his commission through the ROTC as a second lieutenant in the Regular Army. After a distinguished and highly decorated military career, Powell was promoted to four-star general in 1989. That same year he became the first African American Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), serving under President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton. General Powell retired from the Army in 1993 after 35 years of service. In 2001 he became the first African American Secretary of State, serving under President George W. Bush before resigning in 2004. General Powell died on October 18, 2021, at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. After a funeral service at Washington National Cathedral in D.C., General Powell was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
A US Army White Mess Jacket with four gold officer stars worn by General Colin L. Powell. This single-breasted jacket is made from an off-white polyester fabric, designed with a v-tapered front and back hem, and closes at the center front with one (1) gold button featuring the US Army insignia in relief. Three (3) decorative gold US Army insignia buttons are attached in vertical spacing at each side of the jacket. The sleeves are full-length straight cut without a cuff, with a wide band of gold woven tape sewn around each sleeve three (3) inches from the wrist hem. At each sleeve, above the gold woven tape, are four embroidered gold and black stars. The interior of the sleeves are fully lined in an cream synthetic fabric, and the interior body is partially lined with the same at the front sides and around the back shoulders, with the bottom edge of the lining at the shoulder blades unattached from the back facing fabric. There are two (2) interior welted breast pockets, one at each front side. There are two (2) black fabric manufacturer's tags sewn into the middle area of the proper right pocket. One tag has with red, white, and blue embroidered text reading "MARLOW WHITE / LAWTON, OKLAHOMA / FT. LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS. The second tag, sewn above the Marlow White tag, features gold stitching and embroidery reading, “INDIVIDUALLY TAILORE FOR / Gen. Colin L. Powell”. The back of the jacket is tailor styled with four (4) curved seam and one (1) straight seam.
African American  Search this
Clothing and dress  Search this
Government  Search this
Local and regional  Search this
Military  Search this
Politics  Search this
U.S. History, 1969-2001  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Alma J. Powell
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
No known copyright restrictions
Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture