1863Battle Flag (Eastern Theatre)Naval Flag (Eastern Theatre)
After the fall of Fort Sumter, the number of states increased to nine with the admissionof Virginia and Arkansas. The circle grewto eleven when North Carolina andTennessee joined the Confederacy.Although the Confederate states neverofficially numbered more than eleven, thefinal version of the first nationalConfederate flag contained thirteen starsrepresenting the secession governments of Kentucky and Missouri.
Third National Flag
flag of the Confederacywas adopted onMarch 4, 1865, exactly four years after thefirst Confederate flag was approved. Itsofficial life, however, was short-lived. Justthirty-six days later, General Robert E. Leesurrendered his Army of Northern Virginiaat Appomattox Courthouse and the days of the Confederacy soon drew to a close.The
solved the problemof a clear national identity for theConfederacy, but the second national flagwas often mistaken for a flag of truce whenit hung limply around the staff. As a result,a new flag was created in which a broad,red, vertical bar was added to the fly end of the
This third and final
Second NationalFlag: The "StainlessBanner"
As the Civil War extended from weeks intomonths, the sentimental feelings felt for the
"Stars and Stripes"
began to wane. Moreand more Confederate citizens came to seewhat one member of Congress referred toas
"the old gridiron"
as the symbol of oppression and imperialistic aggression.Consequently, because the
"Stars and Bars"
was too closely aligned with the enemy'snational banner, a second national flag wasadopted by the Confederacy on May 1, 1863.The Battle Flag or
wasplaced in the canton of this new flag and asolid white field was substituted for the redand white bars. This flag was referred to asthe
because of its purewhite field, and was proclaimed emblematicof the purity of the Cause that itrepresented. Since the first manufactured
was used to drape thecoffin of Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson,who died after tragically being shot by oneof his own regiments at the Battle of Chancellorsville, this flag is sometimesreferred to as the
Confederate BattleFlag: The "SouthernCross"
when first proposed. Nevertheless,Beauregard liked the design and this
"pair of suspenders,"
also known as the
was first issued as the Battle Flag of the Confederate Army of the Potomac inNovember of 1861.Actually, there were a number of differentbattle flags used by the Confederacy. Thoseused in the Eastern theatre were fairlyuniform, but the flags used in the Westerntheatre of operations were more diverse intheir styles and patterns. Because the
was never officiallyestablished as
battle flag of theConfederacy, and due to the remoteness of the Western operations, commanders in theWest had already adopted and issued theirown distinctive battle flags to avoid theconfusion caused by the
"Stars and Bars."
Ironically, it was the
"Stars and Bars"
resemblance to the
"Stars and Stripes"
thatled to its demise. At the First Battle of Manassas (or Bull Run) on July 21, 1861, thesmoke and dust of battle made it difficult todistinguish between the two red, white, andblue banners. As a result, General P.G.T.Beauregard, who had handled the fieldoperations at Bull Run, proposed that theConfederate soldiers should carry a distinctflag into battle to avoid future confusion.Beauregard contacted the Chairman of theCommittee on Flag and Seal, WilliamPorcher Miles of South Carolina, aboutchanging the flag. Chairman Milessuggested the design that he had submittedto be the first national flag of theConfederacy. This now familiar red flagwith a blue saltire decorated with whitestars was ridiculed as
"a pair of suspenders