Educator's Guide: Social Studies: Banners of Glory Key

1) STARS AND BARS: The Confederate States of America was organized in Montgomery, Alabama, in February 1861. Many people sent in flag designs, including Nicola Marschall. His design was chosen in March as the National flag, although never officially recognized by the Confederate Congress. Originally seven in number, they increased to eleven. Kentucky and Missouri each had two governments, one loyal to the North and one to the South. Many Confederate flags therefore show the thirteen stars. Colors: horizontal stripes are red, white and red; the canton is dark blue with white stars.

2) STARS AND STRIPES: Ulysses S. Grant chose the Stars and Stripes as his headquarters flag. It had 36 stars, although officially the 36th star (for Nevada) was added after the Civil War. The arrangement of the stars was not uniform, Lincoln refused to remove the eleven stars representing the seceding states from the flag. Each star is for each state and the thirteen stripes stand for the original states. Colors: canton is blue with white stars; there are seven red and six white stripes.

3) 15th ARMY CORPS HEADQUARTERS FLAG: Each division in the Corps had its own solid color with the cartridge box in the center and the words FORTY ROUNDS The headquarters flag combined the four colors of the divisions. A normal cartridge box had 20 rounds and soldiers would often split these up to balance the weight on either side of their belts. Colors: the four quarters (clockwise from upper left) are red, white, dark blue and dark yellow. The inscriptions are black; the cartridge box is light brown with a gold oval.

4) ARMY OF THE WEST: Major General Earl Van Don set the pattern for a Confederate battle flag used in Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas and Missouri. This one was carried by the 40th Mississippi Volunteers. The crescent was a symbol of the South in New Orleans and South Carolina. The stars are for the Confederate states. Colors: red field: white stars and crescent; yellow border on the three outer edges; white border alone the hoist.

5) 5th REGIMENT U.S. HEAVY ARTILLERY: Company C of the regiment received a splendid banner "presented by the colored citizens of Natchez, Mississippi." As was usual in those days, the design was painted in oil; every flag was unique and each was a work of art. African-Americans participated extensively, especially in the Union Army, throughout the Civil War. Colors: field is yellow; the ribbons are red with gold inscriptions and borders; the other emblems are gold.

6) MISSISSIPPI FLAG: On January, 1861 this flag was adopted for the "independent republic of Mississippi." Painted in the middle was a large magnolia tree. In the mid-nineteenth century most American states did not have their own flags. Those adopted later in the century were larger based on Civil War era designs, both in the North and South. Colors: the field is white; the canton is blue with a white star; the vertical stripe at the fly is red; the magnolia tree is brown with green leaves and white flowers.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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