Flags of the Civil War

Flags of the United States of America

This flag represented the time period between 1859-1861. The thirty-three stars represented the number of states in the Union, prior to the Civil War. This flag was flown at Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began.
This flag represented the time period between 1861-1863. An additional star was added when Kansas joined the Union on July 4, 1861.
This flag represented the time period between 1863-1865. Another star was added when West Virginia joined the Union on July 4, 1863.


Why were additional stars added after the Civil War?

What did the thirteen stripes represent?


Flags of the Confederate States of America

A Provisional Congress of the Confederate states decided on a proper flag. The Stars and Bars was raised over the Confederate Capitol Building Its seven white stars stood for the seven cotton states that formed the Confederacy.
The Second Confederate National Flag was adopted on May 1, 1863. It was designed by William T. Thompson and consisted of a white field with the Confederate battle flag as the canton.
The Third Confederate National Flag was adopted one month before General Robert E. Lee's surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant. This flag was created to solve the problem of the Second National flag being easily soiled and also confused with a surrender flag.


Why might the Second National Confederate Flag be confused with a surrender flag?

How did the red bar help to solve this problem?


Regimental Flags of the United States Colored Troops (USCT)

The artwork on this flag (6th USCT) is credited to David Bustill Bowser of Philadelphia. It's motto is "Freedom for All." This flag was rescued by Sergeant Major Thomas R. Hawkins during the assault at New Market Heights, Virginia, on September 29, 1864.
The motto of this regimental flag (24th USCT) was "Let soldiers in War be Citizens in Peace." This sentiment echoes the ideas of Frederick Douglass.


What did the motto of the Sixth United States Colored Troops regimental flag mean by the words "Freedom for All?"

What was meant by the words "Let soldiers in War be Citizens in Peace?"

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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Petersburg National Battlefield Administration Office
1539 Hickory Hill Road

Petersburg, VA 23803

Phone:

(804) 732-3531 x0

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