Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

How did the Confederate flag grow to be such a prominent symbol of the Civil War and of the South?

My understanding is that the Confederate flag was just one of several flags flown during the Civil war and it wasn't even the flag that was flown the most or for the longest time?

7 Answers

  • Willie
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    First off what do you mean by the confederate flag? There were many different types of flags of the Confedercey. The one most common today is the Confederate Battle Flag.

    Often referred to as "The" battle flag of the Confederacy it was the design that was the basis of more than 180 separate Confederate military battle flags.

    The Army of Northern Virginia battle flag was usually square, of various sizes for the different branches of the service: 48 inches square for the infantry, 36 inches for the artillery, and 30 inches for the cavalry. It was used in battle beginning in December 1861 until the fall of the Confederacy. The blue color on the saltire in the battle flag was navy blue, as opposed to the much lighter blue of the Naval Jack.

    The flag's stars represented the number of states in the Confederacy. The distance between the stars decreased as the number of states increased, reaching thirteen when the secessionist factions of Missouri and Kentucky joined in late 1861

    The first official flag of the Confederacy, called the "Stars and Bars," was flown from March 5, 1861, to May 26, 1863.

    The very first national flag of the Confederacy was designed by Prussian artist Nicola Marschall in Marion, Alabama. The Stars and Bars flag was adopted March 4, 1861 in Montgomery, Alabama and raised over the dome of that first Confederate Capitol.

    It was changed in 1863 due to confussion on the battlefield,, it looked too much like the Union's flag. The 2nd Flag was the Stainless Banner which was a Plain white flag with the Battle flag in the upper left corner. This Lasted until 1865 but had to be modified due to the fact that on windless days it looked like a surrender flag. The third and last offical flag of the confedercey was the "National Flag" it was the Stainless banner with a red stripe on the right side of the flag, It was adopted in March of 1865 but the War would be over the next few weeks so it did not see many battles. This was the last offical flag of the Confedercey.

    One more flag you should be aware of is the Bonnie Ble Flag. This was a solid blue flag with a single Star on it. It represented an individial state removeing itself from the Union since it looked like a Star from the US flag.

    These were not the only Confederate flags sice each state that participated provided their own flags not to mention that each army had their own individial flags so that on a battle field the men of a specific unit would know which flag to follow. These were not flags of the Confedercey though just military flags. Sort of the way the U.S. Army and the Marines have their own flags, but they are not offical flags of the U.S.

    Hope this helps answer your question.

    Source(s): I know History
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The Confederate battle flag, called the "Southern Cross" or the cross of St. Andrew, has been described variously as a proud emblem of Southern heritage and as a shameful reminder of slavery and segregation. In the past, several Southern states flew the Confederate battle flag along with the U.S. and state flags over their statehouses. Others incorporated the controversial symbol into the design of their state flags. The Confederate battle flag has also been appropriated by the Ku Klux Klan and other racist hate groups. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, more than 500 extremist groups use the Southern Cross as one of their symbols.

    During the Civil War, many Southern states left the Union. These Confederate or "Rebel" states wanted their own flag to fly. The first Rebel flag that flew over the Confederacy, was the Bonnie Blue. The Bonnie Blue was never adopted by the confederacy, but it was loved by the people. Officially, the first Rebel flag was the Stars and Bars. The Stars and Bars flew from March 1861 to May of 1863. Unfortunately this Rebel flag looked too much like the Union's Stars and Stripes. The Confederate states decided to look further for a more unique design.

    The best-known Rebel flag was the Confederate Battle Flag, also known as the "Southern Cross". The Battle flag was carried by Confederate troops during battle. So, on May 1st,1863, the second Confederate flag design was adopted, placing the Battle Flag as the canton on a white field. It was named the Stainless Banner. This Rebel flag was mistaken for a truce flag in calm weather, since it would just hang with mostly white showing. This led the Confederacy to create the third Official Rebel flag. On March 4th,1865, a new pattern was adapted. It was the same as the previous design, but with a wide, red stripe on the fly end. The third flag did not last long, since the war came to an end. It was called the Last Confederate flag.

    The Confederate Battle flag is the most recognized Rebel flag. Many people know it from the Dukes of Hazzard TV show. The Rebel flag was painted on the top of the Duke Boys' car, the General Lee. The Confederate flag has also appeared on several southern state flags at one time or another. The only state to keep the Rebel flag as part of their state flag presently, is Mississippi.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The real Confederate flag had a white body with a red and white field that had 13 stars arranged in the St. Andrew's Cross. The thirteen stars represented the states that the Confederacy wanted to claim, but Kentucky and Missouri never seceded from the Federal Union, so the Confederacy had 11 states only.

    This flag, as mentioned above, was mistaken for a white flag of truce on days that the wind failed to unfurl it, so a red verticle stripe was added to the right of the field. You can see these flags diplayed where I live (Florida, one of the 11 CSA), though most often, you see the so-called 'battle' flag, which was the "Stars and Bars" without the white (or white with a stripe) body.

  • 1 decade ago

    The Confederate Flag as we know it was never a Confederate Flag of Official standing. It is a mix of the Battle Flag (designed by General Joe Johnston, P.G.T. Beauregard and Beauregard's Aide William Porcher Miles) and the Navy Jack (which was again designed by Miles).

    The Confederate Battle Flag gained most of its fame as the main banner of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and as the Eastern Theatre of the Civil War is the most studied and the most imitated by films and book and so on the Battle Flag became a symbol of the Confederacy as a whole and one of its most famous and prominent symbols.

    It is worth noting however than the Battle Flag was not used far and wide in the Confederacy and some units west of the Mississippi never used it at all.

    There were three official National Flags of the Confederacy, the Stars and Bars - which resembled the American Flag - the Stainless Banner (otherwise known as Stonewall Jacksons flag as his coffin was draped by it) - which was totally white except for the Battle Flag in minature in the top corner - and the Blood Stained Banner - which was the same as the Stainless Banner except for a streak of Red at the one end.

    There were numerous official Battle Flags of the Confederacy but only the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia became widespread. Joe Johnston famously made the Army of Tennessee adopt the Confederate Battle Flag when he took over from Bragg as its commander but allowed Patrick Cleburne to keep his own unique Battle Flag as a tribute to his fine service to that point - the Hardee/Cleburne Battle Flag was a Blue Flag with a white border and a white circle in the centre.

    There was furthermore one Unofficial National Flag which was the Bonnie Blue Flag - a purely Blue Flag with a white Star in the centre - but that is only remembered in song.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    "The Confederate Battle Flag" is the flag most folks know. It was a battle banner ONLY. Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard contracted a Mr. Miles to design the battle banner because the troops were firing upon their own people. The 1st National Flag and the U.S. Flag looked that much alike. There was the 1st National, 2nd National, and Third National Confederate Flags. Dixie wasn't the National Song either. It was God Save the South.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think the flag we identify as "the Confederate flag" was actually the battle-flag of the Confederacy. There were state flags, etc. On the other hand, what better symbol?

  • 1 decade ago

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