Every time I hear someone referring to the Confederate Naval Jack as the Stars and Bars I want to cringe. I have to bite my tongue to keep myself from launching into a tirade about how people shouldn’t have a right to fly a flag if they don’t know its proper name or what it stands for. So, to keep that from happening quite so often I’m going to write up a series of posts on the history of several of the Confederacy’s National Flags and other emblems. Here it goes.
The First Confederate National Flag or “Stars and Bars”
One of the first priorities of the Confederate government was to create a national flag and seal of the Confederacy. A committee chaired by William Miles of South Carolina was formed to solicit input from the public regarding the new flag and was quickly "overwhelmed by requests not to abandon the ‘old flag’ of the United States." Even though Miles had already created a design which he preferred and that later became the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, the will of the people prevailed and this flag was adopted due to its similarity to the flag of the United States. The first national flag of the Confederate States of America was created by a Prussian named Nicola Marschall in Marion, Alabama. Marschall also designed the Confederate uniform. The flag was approved and adopted by the Confederate government on March 5, 1861 and was raised over the first capital of the Confederacy in Montgomery, Alabama. Unfortunately, when hostilities began the use of the Stars and Bars generated much confusion on the battlefield and units were unable to tell whether its target was friend or foe from a distance. Due to this, the Stars and Bars were retired as the national flag in May of 1863.
So, when you hear someone refer to the Naval Jack as the Stars and Bars please give them a short little history lesson so the real story of the first national flag is known and people will know the real Stars and Bars when they see it.
Webmaster – GoodOldRebel.com