Confederate Flag

The “battle flag” or the “naval jack”. Do we know who the first people that used it were? I’ve heard that it was the flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, the naval flag, and so on. Does anyone have first claim?

I ask because I live in a state that flies the flag from its state Capitol building, and the debate over furling the flag has been going on ad nauseum.

Sorry the first response to your post is not going to address the actual question you asked (regarding the origin of the stars and bars); I just want to make a prediction: This thread, when it grows up, will resemble less a discussion of historical content than a spinoff of the ad nauseum debate (on the question of whether to furl the flag on top of your state house) that you appeared to be lamenting in your OP.
BTW, FTR, my personal position would be to furl the damn thing and replace it with something resembling what now appears on the reverse of those new-fangled quarters – the one for your state, of course.

Also a bit off the subject here, but what most people refer to as the “Stars and Bars” (a blue Cross of St. Andrew against a red field) should be referred to as the “Confederate Battle Flag,” the “Confederate Southern Cross,” or a few other terms. The “Stars and Bars,” however was something entirely different: it had three horizontal stripes (red-white-red) and a blue union in the upper left corner with a circle of stars.

Yeah, I know I’m nitpicking, but this is one of my peeves.

“pet” peeves, dammit!!


Thanks for the clarification, J String. I’d always thought that “the Stars and Bars” was that St. Andrews Cross-type flag that you always find on the bumper stickers of pickup trucks in these parts. :slight_smile:

An interesting note on the Confederate flag:

There were several versions of the “Stars and Bars,” but most were as already described, with the three horizontal stipes red-white-red, and the blue field on in the upper left corner, much like “Old Glory,” the U.S. flag. The difference was in the number of stars. The first version had 7 stars, for the original states that withdrew. There were eventually 11 confederate states, and some versions of the Stars and Bars had 11 stars. But i believe the official version of the flag (adopted by the Confederate Congress) had 13 stars, two extra for Missouri and Kentucky, two states the CSA felt should have cededed, and had strong minorities in them that supported secession.

“Its fiction, but all the facts are true!”

In response to your discussion on “Stars and Bars”, it seems as though it’s trivial to debate it. While the well-known “confederate flag” may not be the first to go by S&B, it seems to have adopted that name by now. I mean, it seems as banal as arguing that calling those native to the american continent “indians” severely harmed their social status more than simple ignorance on the european behalf. Though obviously a misnomer, if it’s the accepted term, why bother messing with it?

The only thing a nonconformist hates more than a conformist is another nonconformist who does not conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.