assembly in Montgomery, Alabama adopted the first national flag of the
Confederate States of America in March of 1861. This flag was raised
over the Capital in Montgomery, Alabama on March 4, 1861. The canton
was blue with seven stars in a circle. There were three bars on the
flag, two red and one white, and thus the popular name "Stars and Bars."
The seven stars represent the seven original states: South Carolina; Mississippi; Florida; Alabama; Georgia; Louisiana and Texas. The 7 star flag was used officially for two years, but never established as the Confederate Flag by the law of the land.
Between April 17 and June 24, 1861, four more states, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina seceded from the Union. (North Carolina was the eleventh state to secede.)
The same day that North Carolina seceded, May 20, 1861, the Confederate Congress was in session in Montgomery, Alabama. At this session, the number of stars on the flag was increased to thirteen (13), representing the eleven states (11) that had seceded and also Kentucky and Missouri, who had sent representatives to the first Confederate Congress.
After the first
battle of Bull Run, the troops complained that at a distance they could
not distinguish between the "Stars and Bars" and the "Stars and Stripes"
of the Federal flag. General Beauregard designed the famous Battle
Flag of the Confederacy, consisting of two blue lines containing the 13
stars diagonally across a red field.
The people of the
Confederate Union also wanted a flag for all occasions that would not be
confused with the "Stars and Stripes." In May 1863, the Confederate
Congress adopted the blue cross with 13 stars, but placed it in the "place of honor" and substituted the three bars with a field of solid
soldiers felt that this flag resembled a flag of truce. It was again
altered and adopted in 1865, shortly before the end of the Civil War.
A red bar was added extending over the width of the banner and covering
the outer half of the field.
Gerald B. James Library • Rockingham Community College • P.O. Box 38 • Wentworth, NC 27375 • Phone: (336) 342-4261 ext.2247 • Fax: (336) 342-1203 • Email