The “Stars and Bars”
Note: It is necessary to disclaim any connection of these flags to neo-nazis, red-necks, skin-heads and the like. These groups have adopted this flag and desecrated it by their acts. They have no right to use this flag – it is a flag of honor, designed by the confederacy as a banner representing state’s rights and still revered by the South. In fact, under attack, it still flies over the South Carolina capitol building. The South denies any relation to these hate groups and denies them the right to use the flags of the confederacy for any purpose. The crimes committed by these groups under the stolen banner of the confederacy only exacerbate the lies which link the secession to slavery interests when, from a Southerner’s view, the cause was state’s rights.
Note contributed by BJ Meksikatsi.
source: The Flag of the United States of America : 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 from 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).
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.
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.
The Confederate Navy Jack
Used as a navy jack at sea from 1863 onward. This flag has become the generally recognized symbol of the South.
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.