Flags of the Confederacy

Listed below is a brief history of some of the more popular Flags of the Confederacy.

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  • 1st National – Also known as “Stars and Bars”. This flag was the first official Flag of the Confederacy and it was used from March 1861 to May 1863 during the American Civil War. This American Civil War flag created confusion on the battle field because of its similarity to the Stars and Stripes of the Union. The seven stars on this Confederate flag represent the original Confederate States – South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, and Florida.

  • 2nd National – The second official Flag of the Confederacy was adopted in May 1863. The flag had 13 stars to represent the additional Confederate States of North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia, and Tennessee. Kentucky and Missouri were also included even though secession attempts failed in those states. One drawback to this American Civil War flag was that it was easily mistaken as a white flag of surrender, especially when there was no breeze and the flag hung limply.

  • 3rd National – This third flag was adopted in March 1865 just before the fall of the Confederacy. A vertical, red bar was placed on the right side of the flag. This was the last official confederate flag used during the American Civil War.

  • Confederate Battle Flag – This battle flag is the most well-known of the Flags of the Confederacy. It is also referred to as Southern Cross and Rebel flag. Confederate troops in the field carried this rebel flag during battle.

  • Bonnie Blue – This flag served as the “unofficial” Flag of the Confederacy until 1861 when it was replaced by the 1st National flag. The Bonnie Blue flag was used for years as a symbol of Southern independence and its origin can be traced to the early 1800’s where it was used during a border dispute with Spain.