Emanuel Rudisill, Co. M, 16th North Carolina, was the regimental ensign. He wears the regulation state uniform in this post-war photograph which also shows the regimental battle flag reproduced in the accompanying photograph. Note the axehead hnial on the staff. (North Carolina Department of Archives and History)
however, the white border, or rim separating the blue from the red. I would have it simply a red ground with two blue bars crossing each other diagonally, on which shall be the white stars; a white or golden fringe might go all around the sides of the flag.'
Beauregard took the idea to Johnston, who also liked the basic design but changed its shape to square on the recommendation of the army's future quartermaster, who said that a square flag would save cloth. He also restored the white fimbration. Examples of the new battle flag were made in September 1861 by three Richmond belles, Hettie, Jennie, and Constance Cary. According to Constance, 'They were jaunty squares of scarlet crossed with dark blue edged with white, the cross bearing stars to indicate the number of the seceded States. We set our best stitches upon them, edged them with golden fringes, and, when they were finished, dispatched one to Johnston, another to Beauregard, and the third to Earl Van Dorn, then commanding infantry at Manassas. The banners were received with all possible enthusiasm; were toasted, feted, and cheered abundantly.'
The original flag sent to Van Dorn survives in the collection of the Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia. It has a red field with a blue St. Andrew's cross with white fimbration and hoist edge, with three white ties to hold it to the staff. Three gold stars are set on each arm of the cross, clustered close to the centre; there is no star where the arms of the cross meet. It has 3-inch-long yellow fringing, and is actually 31 inches by 30 inches in size rather than perfectly square. The name 'Constance' has been embroidered on the lower arm of the cross near the hoist.
Three sizes were established for the battle flags made to this design and finally issued throughout the Army of Northern Virginia. Infantry versions were to be 48 inches on each side; artillery versions, 36 inches square; and cavalry versions, 30 inches square.
The first pattern Army of Northern Virginia battle flags were made as the samples were, sewn of dress silk by Richmond ladies under contract. Their blue crosses were eight inches wide, edged with f-inch-wide white silk. The 12 white stars were \\ inches in diameter, set 8 inches apart from the centre of the cross. All the edges but the hoist were bound in yellow silk; the hoist had a blue silk sleeve. Finally, the fields tended to be pinkish rather than scarlet.
Not all of these flags were made by official contractors from the start. The 4th Texas Infantry, for example, received in November 1861 a variant of this flag which was made by Miss Lula Wigfall, daughter of one of Texas' senators. This 47-inch-square silk flag was very similar to the first pattern except that it featured a single star at the point where the arms of the cross met which was larger than the other stars—symbolic of the Lone Star of Texas. The other stars were placed rather towards the outer part of the arms of the cross, rather than being clustered towards the centre as on the first silk pattern flags. It was edged in yellow, with the edge on the hoist side folded around to make a sleeve for the staff. This battle-worn flag was retired to Texas for storage on 7 October 1862.
By that time, most of these colours had been worn out by much use in the field. However, in early 1862 the Richmond Clothing Depot had acquired sufficient stocks of bunting, both by purchase from England and by the capture of the US Navy Yard at Norfolk, Virginia. The Depot began manufacturing and issuing its own machine-sewn First Bunting Pattern, Army of Northern Virginia battle flags. These were very similar to the First Silk Pattern flags but made of bunting, with true scarlet fields. Instead of yellow silk edging they were made with orange flannel ij inches wide; the orange rapidly became a somewhat dirty tan in colour after some time in the field. The thirteenth star was added at the centre of the cross, and the cotton stars were smaller, only 3 inches in diameter. They were set 6 inches apart from the centre of the cross. The fimbration was made of j- inch wide cotton. The staff side was made with a 2-inch-wide white canvas or linen heading with three whipped eyelets for ties.
These flags, often lacking any sort of designation such as battle honours or unit designation, quickly became the standard Army of Northern Virginia battle flag first issued to Longstreet's Right Wing in May 1862. One of these unmarked flags, for example, was carried by the 3rd Georgia Infantry throughout the war.
In the spring of 1862 the Depot slightly changed the colours it had been issuing. The blue cross was now made only inches wide. The stars were also reduced in size, to 3I inches in diameter. The so-called Third Bunting Pattern flag appeared in late 1862, when the orange borders were replaced with white 2-inch-wide bunting.
The 16th North Carolina also carried this hunting pattern Army of Northern Virginia battle flag with the unit designation marked in yellow around the centre star. The flag carries US War Department capture number '57' on the lower hoist side. (North Carolina Museum of History)
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