Early in the war, most regiments carried the Confederate First National flag (the "Stars and Bars") or their state's flag, since the Confederacy did not have an official battle flag. The "Stars and Bars" caused much confusion on the battlefield though, because of its similarity to the United States flag, the "Stars and Stripes". The Confederate Army never had an official battle flag. Instead, each army or corps had a designated flag. In 1863, the Army of the Mississippi (Army of Tennessee) had at least eight different designs in use at one time.
The flag now commonly referred to as the "Confederate Battle flag" (red rectangular flag with 13 white stars on the blue X outlined in white) has been alternately described as either the Confederate Naval Jack or the 1864-pattern Army of Tennessee battle flag, both of which were based upon the Army of Northern Virginia battle flag (see General Van Dorn's personal flag below). It gained widespread use as the official battle flag of the Confederate Army in post-war reunions of veterans, primarily because the rectangular flags were easier for manufacturers to mass produce.