First National Flag of the Confederacy (“Stars and Bars”)
First National Flag of the Confederacy
(“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 proposed 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 of stars varied during 1861. For example, the Stars and Bars that flew at Fort Pulaski near Savannah in 1861-62 had nine stars [see photo]. The number of stars on most national flags 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, while in other cases, the star in the circle is the same size as the other stars [see photo]. Also, at least two versions of the flag survive with Georgia’s coat of arms in the center of the stars. And, the Stars and Bars carried by the Cherokee Dragons had eleven stars—but arranged in a staggered, non-circular pattern.