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Secession Flags, 1860-1861
After the election of Abraham Lincoln as president in November 1860, unofficial flags consisting of a single star on a solid background began appearing across the South. As each star on the U.S. flag signified a state, a single star indicated that the state had withdrawn (or planned to withdraw) from the Union, which would make it a sovereign power.

The best known of the single-star flags was the Bonnie Blue flag. The flag consisted of a solid blue flag, with a large white star in the center. Tradition holds that the Bonnie Blue flag was flown in Georgia during the early months of 1861, although no evidence has been found to support this claim. Better documented is a flag of the same design, but with a red star on a solid white background. Several accounts mention such a flag being flown in Augusta and Milledgeville in January 1861.
First National Flag of the Confederacy, 1861-1863 - "Stars and Bars"
Soon after formation of the Confederate States of America, delegates from the seceded states met as a provisional government in Montgomery, Alabama.

Among the early actions was appointment of a committee to propose a new flag and seal for the Confederacy. The proposal adopted by the committee called for a flag consisting of a red field divided by a white band one-third the width of the field, thus producing three bars of equal width. The flag had a square blue union the height of two bars, on which was placed a circle of white stars corresponding in number to the states of the Confederacy--South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas.

The First National Flag of the Confederacy soon came to be known as the "Stars and Bars." With seven stars at first, the number jumped to eleven with the secession of Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee, and finally to thirteen (in recognition of the symbolic admission of Kentucky and Missouri to the Confederacy). In some cases, the canton had a large star within the circle of stars. Also, at least two versions of the flag survive with Georgia's coat of arms in the center of the stars.
Confederate Battle Flag, 1861-1865
The similarity of the Stars and Bars to the Stars and Stripes was not an accident. As the war progressed, however, sentiment for keeping a reminder of the American flag diminished in the South. More importantly, during the first major battle of the Civil War at Bull Run near Manassas Junction, Virginia, it was hard to distinguish the two flags at a distance.

Consequently, Confederate generals P.G.T. Beauregard and Joseph Johnston urged that a new Confederate flag be designed for battle.

The result was the square flag sometimes known as the "Southern Cross." The Confederate Battle Flag consisted of a blue saltire reminiscent of the St. Andrew's Cross, on which were situated 13 stars, with the saltire edged in white, all on a red background. A review of surviving Confederate Battle Flags shows that the stars were arranged in many ways, but the design above (with the central tip of each star pointing up) was the most common.
Stars and Bars Civl War Flag
Second National Flag of the Confederacy, 1863-1865
Throughout the spring of 1863, the Confederate Congress debated the design for a new national flag for the Confederacy.

On May 1, the last day of the session, both houses agreed to a flag consisting of a white field, with a length twice as long as its width, and a square Confederate Battle Flag two-thirds the width of the field to be used as a canton (or union) in the upper left.
Despite the official dimensions provided in the Flag Act of 1863, many copies were made shorter to achieve a more traditional appearance and to prevent the white flag from being mistaken for a flag of truce.

The Second National Flag was widely known as the "Stainless Banner." Because the first issue of this flag draped the coffin of General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, it was also known as the "Jackson Flag."
Third National Flag of the Confederacy, 1865
Concern over the Second National Flag led to the introduction of a bill in December 1864 to change the national flag yet again. Although the Civil War was in its final stages, President Jefferson Davis signed legislation on March 4, 1865, creating the Third National Flag of the Confederacy.

The new banner had a width two-thirds of its length. The flag's canton (i.e., the Confederate Battle Flag) changed from a square to a rectangle of a width three-fifths the width of the flag, and of a length so that the field beyond it measured twice the width of the field below the canton. The flag continued to use a white field, except that the outer half of the field to the right of the Battle Flag canton consisted of a vertical red band.

Authorized in the final months of the war, relatively few copies of the Third National Flag were made, and even fewer survived.
Phone, Address and Website
Phone: 404-656-2846 - Address: 2 Martin Luther King Dr., Suite 820, Atlanta, GA 30334 - Located in downtown Atlanta at the intersection of I-20 and I-75/85 (near the Five Points and Georgia State MARTA stations) - Georgia Capitol Museum Flags
U. S. Flags and Yellow Ribbons
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