The Confederate Flag is still used today in some cities and counties as well as by some organizations and individuals. There are several controversies regarding the use of the flag due to its history and to the cultural and racial undertones associated with it. One of the most well-known uses of the Confederate Flag is the presence of this flag in the upper left corner of the official flag of the state of Mississippi.
Versions of the Flag
There are three versions of the Confederate flag since the design of the flag went through a few changes during the Civil War. The first flag was designed in 1861 and was used from March 1861 to May 1863. The first version of the ‘Stars and Bars’ was designed after the flag of the Austrian Empire.
The Confederate Congress
The Confederate Congress created a committee that would be in charge of the flag. The committee asked people to send in their suggestions so that they could create a new flag that would represent the Confederate States. The ‘Stars and Bars’ design was eventually chosen by the Committee because of its design was somewhat similar to the official flag of the U.S. and most suggestions received by the Committee had expressed a strong preference for using the U.S. flag.
A different design for the Confederate Flag was adopted after the beginning of the Civil War. The ‘Battle Flag’ had been designed by William Porcher Miles and previously presented to the Committee. The Committee didn’t select this design because it was too different from the U.S. flag, but it soon became evident that there was a need for a flag that looked different to avoid any confusions on the battlefields once the Civil War broke out. The design of the flag went through a few changes during the Civil War since more stars were added as more state joined the Confederacy.
A third flag was adopted in March 1865. This ‘Bood Stained Banner’ was criticized by military leaders because most of the flag was white and it could easily be mistaken for a truce flag on the battlefield. The flag design does not feature any blue to differentiate itself from the U.S. flag. The use of this third flag is especially controversial because the white background can be interpreted as a reference to the white race. Even though this third flag was officially adopted, few flags were made, and the ‘Battle Flag’ design was still widely used.
These three designs are the official flags that were used by the Confederacy, but other flags and symbols were used during the Civil War. Most states that were part of the Confederacy had their own flags and symbols and used them on the battlefield.
Even though the use of the Confederate Flag is controversial nowadays, the history of the design of different flags and how they were used is an interesting insight into how the Confederacy came to be. In a way, the creation of these different flag designs is an interesting reflect of the Confederacy searching for an identity through a unifying symbol.
Wondering why there isn’t a rebel flag for sale anywhere? They were banned at basically every retail store in America.