The Confederate States of America adopted three national flags during their short existence. The first, known as the "Stars and Bars," is by far the most common. The second, the "Stainless Banner," utilized the well-known Confederate battleflag on the canton (upper left hand corner). The last pattern, authorized during the final weeks of the war, saw very limited use, but was more popular in postwar years. Examples of these flags exist in various southern state collections, but they were generally neglected until recent years and, as a result, most are now in desperate need of conservation.
1 Confederate National Flag, First Pattern Though never actually authorized by law. the "Stars and Bars* was adopted by the Provisional Congress of Confederate States on March 4. 1861, in time to coincide with Lincoln's inauguration The flag first flew above the capitol at Montgomery, Alabama, where the Congress was then sitting
2 Confederate National Flag, Second Pattern. Known as the 'Stainless Banner," this was the first national Confederate flag to be adopted by law, under the Confederate Senate Bill No 132 of May 1, 1863 It was first i used officially at the funeral of Stonewall Jackson, where it covered
the general's coffin. This particular example was the headquarters flag of General Jubal A Early 3 Confederate National Flag. Third Pattern From the very moment of the adoption of the Second Pattern flag, critics said that it looked too much like a white flag of truce, with particularly strong criticism coming from some officers of the Confederate Navy The Confederate Government eventually conceded and the Congress consequently decided on this third and last pattern - essentially the Second Pattern with an additional vertical red bar - which was officially adopted on March 4. 1865
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