Part four of our continuing series on Confederate Flags and Symbols. This series aims to increase accurate knowledge of Confederate History and further pride in our Southern Heritage. This article features the history behind The Bonnie Blue Flag, while it was not an official flag of the Confederacy; it still became a much-loved symbol of Southern Independence.
The Bonnie Blue Flag consists of a single white star upon a field of blue. This flag was originally the national flag of the Republic of West Florida, which existed for 74 days during 1810. The flag was first raised at a Spanish fort in Baton Rouge on September 23, 1810 after the territory of West Florida revolted against Spanish rule.
This use of the flag as a symbol of revolt is likely what inspired it to be adopted by the South during the War Between the States. The Republic of West Florida not only encompassed part of what is now the State of Florida but also Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. When Mississippi announced it’s secession from the Union on January 9, 1861, the Bonnie Blue Flag was hoisted over the capitol in Jackson. During this event, an Irish immigrant named Harry McCarty was present and later penned the song “The Bonnie Blue Flag” which became an immensely popular marching tune during the war. The tune’s popularity only further served to increase the flag’s popularity in the Southern states. Today, the flag is still used to represent the South and the ideals of states’ rights.
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