Home - First Confederate Flags
A brief History of the Confederate Flag
The rebel flag has long been associated with the U.S. Civil War and the rise and fall of the Confederacy.
However, not known to many, the famous "Stars and Bars" flag seen in movies, history books, and TV
shows, is not the first and foremost design that existed. In fact, the most famous of the confederacy flags is
only one of a number of banners that were used on the battlefields of Gettysburg, Antietam, and Bull Run.
As detailed in many an American history book, a group of Southern states seceded from the Union just after
the mid-point of the 19th century. To signify their independence, among other actions, each of the states
created their own flags as well as a number of
Confederacy military flags.
The very first of all the Confederate army flags to fly on the field of war was a simple
design known as the "Bonnie Blue." This flag consisted of a basic one large star on a field
of royal or dark blue. While the Bonnie Blue was a favorite among the Confederate soldiers
and the home supporters, it never got the official sanction as the flag of the Confederacy. It
saw first action in early 1861 in the early months of the war and first battles.
The first official flag of the Confederacy was the first "Stars and Bars" pattern. It used a left
side square of blue with a circle of stars. The remainder of the
field included two solid bars of red with a white bar running in
between horizontally. The initial pattern was first seen in the Civil
War in March 1861 and lasted for more than three years. Its first
official post during the War was being hoisted over the
Confederate Capitol building located in Montgomery, Alabama.
The location was also ill-fated to become a target on Union
General Tecumseh Sherman's march to the sea.
The flag creation didn't come out of couple of colorings around
the camp fire. Instead, the first Confederate rebel flag was put through a formal design process via special committee
appointed by the Provisional Confederate Congress. Quite a bit of suggestion and consideration was put into play, with
various opinions solicited and taken on how the official Confederacy flag should look. Ironically, the chair of the
Committee had already in his pocket what would be the more recognizable "Stars and Bars" rebel flag on the
battlefield, but it's time had not arrived yet. Instead, the general committee consensus was to design an official rebel
that still bore a resemblance to the general U.S. flag still used by the Union. Unfortunately, this inherent similarity
quickly made itself known for causing confusion on the battlefield given how similar it was to military flags carried by
the northern troops.
Finalizing the Design
Other Military Actions
Politics of the Rebel Flag
The History of the Confederate Battle Flag