Although the Confederate States of America had three National Flags and a battleflag authorized by law, flags extant today indicate usage of a great variety of patterns. Companies within regiments carried their own flags early in the war, while commanders of larger units adopted their own patterns, and military area commanders devised peculiar patterns for their areas. States also issued flags, usually bearing some form of the State Seal.
Some flags bore slogans, such as "Victory or Death"; others carried their units' nicknames, like the "Bartow Yankee Killers" and "Floyd Rangers";
yet others were adapted from the flags of local militia.
Sometimes the colors had been lovingly sewn out of the fabric of wedding dresses, but more often they were simple sewn bits of color to act as symbolic banners until the national government furnished genuine regulation banners. Of course, complete military uniformity in flags, as with every other aspect of army supply, always evaded the South. Material such as silk, cotton,] wools, lady's dresses, even grain sacks all did service as battle colors. Excellent collections exist today in most Southern state capitols; the
TiVi 5tgr »Ik
Aitifacts cou'tosy at The Museurr o1 the Confederacy. R>cfirnond Va
premier collection, consisting of over 500 flags, is housed at The Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Va.
1 Maryland State Seal flag
2 Confederate First National Flag carried by the "Dixie Rangers"
3 Army of Northern Virginia battleflag fragment
4 Battleflag of the 3rd Florida Infantry
Was this article helpful?