Know your Confederate Flags

It is so annoying (sad, disheartening…), for lack of a better word, when I hear people refer to the”Battle Flag” as the “Stars & Bars”.

People, people, people… PLEASE get it right….  and this photo of the Confederate flags and the below quoted text, both from pages 349 and 350 of 100 Great Battles of the Rebellion by Wesley Potter Kremer found at the Internet Archive, will help you learn the difference.

 

 

 

"A— The Stars and Bars.B-The Battle Flag. C— The Camp Flag.D — Last Flag of the Confederacy.

In March, 1861, the Confederate Congress adopted as the national emblem the so-called "Stars and Bars.It was made up of three horizontal bars of red, white, and red, with a blue union in the upper left-hand corner, on which were displayed thirteen white stars in a circle, thus giving the historical red, white, and blue, which tricolor appeared in all the succeeding changes. 

The resemblance of this to the "Stars and Stripes" led to confusion, mistakes, and loss of life in the battle of Manassas, and shortly after that action another flag was born to the Confederacy, in September, 1861. 

The battle flag was then adopted. This, in the language of heraldry, was a red field charged with a blue saltier, with a narrow border of white, on which were displayed thirteen white stars; in other words, a blue St. Andrew's cross on a red ground. This was easily distinguishable, and was never changed. 

The stars and bars were in '63 supplemented by the camp flag. 

This was in size and shape like the other, except that it was white with no stripes, and the battle flag in the upper corner, next the staff. It was found deficient in actual service, in that, displaying so much white, it was sometimes apt to be mistaken for a flag of truce, and on Feb. 24, 1865, it gave place to the last flag of theConfederacy, the outer half being a red vertical bar.Appearing so late in the war, it was not so familiar as the others — in fact, was comparatively little known."

SOURCE: Internet Archive's "out of copy-right" copy of 100 Great Battles of the Rebellion by Wesley Potter Kremer

(My personal favorite is still the Palmetto Flag...)

 

 

 

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