History of Confederate Flags and a Giveaway

by fifer1863 on April 8, 2014

The following is a guest post from Michael Cronin who is the Founder and CEO of Gettysburg Flag Works 

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When we think of American flags, “red, white and blue” is probably the first thing that comes to mind. When it comes to civil war flags, this is still the case, but the faithful red, white and blue took on a couple of different forms. The Confederate States of America actually adopted three unique flag patterns, one in 1861, another in 1863 and the third in 1865.

First National Confederate FlagThe first Confederate flag, known as the “First National” pattern, or “Stars and Bars”, was most similar in style to the American flag with which we’re familiar today. It featured horizontal stripes, but instead of thirteen like the traditional American flag, this version only had three stripes with two red stripes on the top and bottom, a white stripe in the middle, and a blue area in the upper left corner. This blue region included a circle of white stars that represented the Confederate states at that time: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. Eventually, the flag was modified to have up to 13 stars. This flag was flown above the Capitol at Montgomery, Alabama, when the Provisional Congress met before the bombardment of Fort Sumter in April, 1861 and is known as the official flag of the Confederacy

In 1863, the Confederacy adopted the “Second National” pattern, which was also referred to as the “Stainless Banner”. This civil war flag was first used on the casket of Stonewall Jackson. One reason for the change from the prior flag was that some thought that it was too similar to the “Stars and Stripes” and that it was too easy for soldiers to be confused on the battlefield. In essence, this design was the battle flag for the Army of Northern Virginia (a red square with a blue “X” marked with stars, also known as the Southern Cross) on a white field. It also incorporates 13 stars to include the additions of Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. This flag came to prominence based on the fame of the armies of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Lee’s army had achieved reputation for success and heroism, and it used the Southern Cross battle flag as its symbol. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard once said that the battle flag was “consecrated by the best blood of our country on so many battlefields.”

Third Flag_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America

The Third National pattern was similar to the Second National pattern, but with a smaller white field and the addition of a red vertical stripe on the
right. The purpose of this was that with the Second National pattern, when the wind wasn’t carrying the flag and it hung limply, it appeared to be the white flag of surrender. However, there were not too many of these flags in service during the war. It was adopted on March 4, 1865, and Gen. Lee’s army surrendered at Appomattox just a few weeks later.

A lesser-known flag was never formally adopted by the Confederate government, but was adopted by the people and incorporated in five southern states in 1861. This one was the “Lone Star Flag” or the “Bonnie Blue Flag”, which was solid blue with a single white star in the center. This flag was used by independence-seeking groups and achieved popularity in the South in 1861. It included West Florida and Texas. The Bonnie Blue Flag was raised over the state capitol when Mississippi adopted an ordinance of secession.

Regardless of your favorite version, the American Civil War and the flags that represented it have earned a permanent spot in our history books. Despite the complex and controversial causes of the American Civil War (slavery, states’ rights, and sectionalism to name a few), it will still go down in history as one of the deadliest wars in American history. This bloody 4-year conflict took approximately 750,000 soldiers and an irresolute number of civilian lives. Historians estimate that the death toll consumed 10% of all Northern males between the ages of 20 and 45 years old and 30% of Southern males between the age of 18 and 40.

It’s been said “the Civil War was one of the most defining moments in our history and no event since our nation began has had such an impact, both positive and negative, on all aspects of American life.” This war has impacted the government, the power of the President, the economy, the role of women in society, African Americans, and so much more.  It is for these, and many other important reasons, that the American Civil War is such an important lesson in US history.

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To help educators teach the American Civil War, Gettysburg Flag is graciously offering the chance for one of our readers to win a Civil War flag of their choosing.  Simply complete the raffle form below and good luck.
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Please Help National History Day in Pa

by fifer1863 on March 4, 2014

I received the following the other day and thought I would share.  Please help if you can.

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National History Day in Pennsylvania needs your help!

Each year, NHD in PA supports the Pennsylvania Delegation to the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland by covering student entry fees for the contest.   NHD in PA also supports over 120 judges and volunteers who make the State Contest possible by providing them with housing and meals during the contest.

NHD in PA is launching an online campaign to raise $6,000 to help cover these costs.  We are NOT asking for financial contributions from our judges, but for help in spreading the word.  Please consider helping in the following ways:

  • SPREAD the word to anyone who might be able to help.
  • CONTINUE in your outstanding work with the NHD in PA program.
  • TELL everyone you can about the outstanding work NHD in PA student do.

Supporters interested in making a donation may contribute online, or contact us directly at 717-258- 1102 or eddirector@armyheritage.org

NHD in PA is managed and sponsored by the Army Heritage Center Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization.  All donations to the NHD in PA program are tax deductible to the maximum extent allowed by law.

NHD in PA is funded through donations and student fees.  The program receives no funding from the local, state, or federal governments.

Sincerely,

Jeff

 Jeffrey G. Hawks
Education Director
Army Heritage Center Foundation
State Coordinator
National History Day in Pennsylvania
P.O. Box 839
Carlisle, PA 17013
717.258.1102
FAX:  717.258.1576
eddirector@armyheritage.org
www.armyheritage.org
http://pa.nhd.org

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Fort Morgan video

by fifer1863 on February 21, 2014

Fort Morgan, Alabama

Found this neat video on Fort Morgan that I thought I’d share.

Enjoy!

 

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The Gettysburg Project

February 5, 2014

Quick post today on The Gettysburg Project The purpose of the Gettysburg Project Site is to enhance public  awareness and appreciation of the Battle of Gettysburg and The Gettysburg Address through the song “Gettysburg,” other Civil War inspired music, and links to other Gettysburg Memorial websites and blogs. The song Gettysburg was inspired by the […]

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Fun Animal Statistics

February 3, 2014

Here are some fun Battle of Gettysburg related statistics to use with your students: Between the two armies there were approximately 72,243 horses present. Of these, nearly 3,000 – 5,000 were killed.  What percentage was killed? Each horse requires 10 gallons of water per day, making the water needs for just the horses 722,430 gallons […]

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Lincoln Letter to McCullough

December 21, 2013

President Abraham Lincoln wrote this touching letter of condolence to the daughter of his long-time friend, William McCullough. During Lincoln’s law circuit days, McCullough was sheriff and clerk of the McLean County Circuit Court in Bloomington, Illinois. Early in the Civil War he helped organize the Fourth Illinois Cavalry, which he served as Lieutenant Colonel. […]

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Gettysburg Address Live Stream

November 19, 2013

Check out the live stream of the 150th Anniversary Event: Watch live streaming video from encompass at livestream.com

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Timeline Civil War App Review

October 31, 2013

I was recently asked to review the Timeline Civil War app for the iPad and to put it simply, this is a really good and enjoyable app.  This app is packed with tons of information, images, primary sources, maps and various texts. Key features on Timeline Civil War include: A unique interactive timeline that allows […]

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Lincolns Code – The Laws of War in History Book Review

October 13, 2013

I’m finally getting an opportunity to catch up on some reading and have another book review for you.  Lincoln’s Code: The laws of War in American History by Yale Law Professor John Fabian Witt is a “story of how slavery and the Emancipation Proclamation helped shape the modern laws of armed conflict, and how a […]

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Gettysburg: The Last Invasion Book Review

October 10, 2013

I recently had the opportunity to read Allen C. Guelzo`s latest work, Gettysburg: The Last Invasion. Guelzo is the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era and the author of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America and Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President, both winners of the Lincoln Prize. According the the publisher: GETTYSBURG is […]

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The 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

July 18, 2013

I had an opportunity to spend some time in Gettysburg during the 150th anniversary celebration.  What a very cool experience to be in that historic spot at that time.  I really can’t explain it but even though we, as a family, go there about once a month, there was something about being on the battlefield […]

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Gettysburg Vodcasts

July 15, 2013

“Middle School Students Create Vodcasts about Civil War History in Gettysburg” By Shuan Butcher, Director of Communications — Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership Now that the dust has settled from the 150th commemoration of the Battle of Gettysburg, how doe the stories continue to be told for and by the next generation of leaders, historians, […]

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Online Course on Abraham Lincoln from Dickinson College

July 6, 2013

Dickinson College, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to Offer Online Course on Abraham Lincoln  “Understanding Lincoln” is designed especially for K-12 educators seeking graduate-level credit and ideas for teaching the new Common Core State Standards  (Carlisle, Pa.) – Dickinson College, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, will offer K-12 educators as […]

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The First Shot of the Battle of Gettysburg

July 2, 2013

We had the unique opportunity to be invited to join author JD Petruzzi at the First Shot Marker that commemorates the start of the Battle of Gettysburg.  What made it extra special was that we were there, on that spot where 150 years ago Marcellus Jones fired that first shot of the battle. So CJ […]

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New Civil War Movie — Copperhead

June 19, 2013

I have been asked to announce the arrival of a new Civil War movie called Copperhead which is a film for the whole family and is opening in theaters June 28!   Commemorate the 150 year anniversary & keep your kids learning during the summer by catching Copperhead, a Civil War movie the whole family can […]

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Proclamation by Governor Curtin

June 13, 2013

PENNSYLVANIA INVASION.; Two Military Departments Formed In the State, Under the Command of Gens. Couch and Brooks. PROCLAMATION BY GOVERNOR CURTIN. PROCLAMATION OF GOV. CURTIN. Published: June 13, 1863; Dispatch of 6/12/1864 HARRISBURGH, Friday, June 12. Gen. COUCH has assumed command of the Department of the Susquehanna. He summons for the defence of the State, […]

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Center for Civil War Photography

June 12, 2013

Not sure why I haven’t mentioned this one before but The Center for Civil War Photography is a great place to find photos about the Civil War.  There are numerous websites that offer images of the Civil War, but The Center for Civil War Photography is different in one way because they also offer 3D images.  I especially like […]

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Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Study Guide Book Review

June 9, 2013

I have always wanted to be a licensed battlefield guide and admittedly I do not know enough about the battle in order to pass the exam.  So recently started to explore what it would take and what kind of books, websites, research, etc I would need to read and what types of research would be involved to […]

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Website Updates and Thank You

June 7, 2013

Hello Everyone, I wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU so much for reading my website and blog.  The statistics are through the roof.  I also want to apologize for lack of posts and podcast.  Other things have become a priority recently and while it is not an excuse I need to get […]

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NHD in PA Teacher’s Workshop -June 1st

May 19, 2013

Registration for the June 1, 2013 National History Day in Pennsylvania Teachers Workshop at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, PA is now open.  The workshop will run from 9 AM to 4 PM with a break for lunch.  Lunch is available from our on-site café. Thanks to scholarships provided by the […]

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