Civil War Era Flags

During the Civil War there was an assortment of flags in use.
Below are the most recognized and were created using Adobe Photoshop.

Union
35 star flag
At the outbreak of the Civil War (1861), the US Flag had a field of 33 stars representing 33 states. President Lincoln refused to remove the stars representing those states which seceded from the Union. From the first 3 months until 1863, the flag had 34 stars. In 1863, West Virginia separated from Virginia to join the Union. Consequently the Union flag had 35 stars until the close of the Civil War.

Confederate
Stars and Bars
The first Official Flag of the Confederacy
Although less well known than the "Confederate Battle Flags" ,the Stars and Bars was used as the official flag of the Confederacy from March 1861 to May of 1863. The pattern and colors of this flag did not distinguish it sharply fom the Stars and Stripes of the Union. Consequently, considerable confusion was caused on the battlefield. The seven stars represent the original Confederate States; South Carolina (December 20, 1860), Mississippi (January 9, 1861), Florida (January 10,1861), Alabama (January 11, 1861), Georgia (January 19, 1861), Louisiana (January 26, 1861), and Texas (February 1, 1861).

Battle Flag
The Confederate Battle Flag
The best-known Confederate flag, however, was the Battle Flag, the familiar "Southern Cross". It was carried by Confederate troops in the field which were the vast majority of forces under the confederacy. The Stars represented the 11 states actually in the Confederacy plus Kentucky and Missouri.

Second Official Confederate Flag
The second Official Flag of the Confederacy
On May 1st,1863, a second design was adopted, placing the Battle Flag (also known as the "Southern Cross") as the canton on a white field. This flag was easily mistaken for a white flag of surrender especially when the air was calm and the flag hung limply. The flag now had 13 stars having been joined officially by four more states, Virginia (April 17, 1861), Arkansas (May 6, 1861), Tennessee (May 7, 1861), North Carolina (May 21, 1861). Efforts to secede failed in Kentucky and Missouri though those states were represented by two of the stars.

Third Official Confederate Flag
The third Official Flag of the Confederacy
On March 4th,1865, a short time before the collapse of the Confederacy, a third pattern was adapted; a broad bar of red was placed on the fly end of the white field.

Confederate Navy Jack
Confederate Navy Jack
Used as a navy jack at sea from 1863 onward. This flag has become the generally recognized symbol of the South.

Bonnie Blue flag
The famous Bonnie Blue flag
of seccession deserves mention due to its fame from the song "the Bonnie Blue flag". Rarely used as a battle flag--the four-pointed star flag of the 32nd/36th Texas Cavalry a notable exception, the Bonnie Blue did see some use as a company flag within regiments or some battalions (groups of companies smaller than regiments) or artillery batteries, mostly with troops in the Trans-mississippi or Mississippi valley.

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