Tags: Confederate Flag | confederate flag | design | history

Design of the Confederate Flag

By    |   Thursday, 30 Jul 2015 01:25 PM

The ethics, meaning, and history behind the Confederate flag with its distinctive blue-and-red design, have sparked a massive debate in America. All around the country, Americans are demanding the Southern Cross be taken down from public and government facilities, while others stand up for the flag's use as a part of Southern history.

When it comes to the history and symbols embedded in the Confederate flag, the flag’s design is just as confusing and controversial as the moral debate circulating around the Southern Cross itself.

Vote Now: Should the Confederate Flag Be Removed From All Government Buildings?

The Confederacy had several flags designed, and the Southern Cross was not one of the ones selected as a Confederate flag, according to The Civil War website.

The flag that would be the first Confederate flag was called the "Stars and Bars" flag, and it looked remarkably like the U.S. flag, although instead of stripes it had three wide bars, two red and one white. It boasted stars to represent the Confederate states; the first design featured seven stars. Eventually, as more states joined the Confederacy, the flag would bear the 11 stars plus two stars representing Missouri and Kentucky, which joined the Confederacy, but never official left the United States.

The flag causing the controversy today was designed by William Porcher Miles, a politician of the time, and it originally had 13 stars to represent the slave states, TCW said. It also featured the blue cross that had its roots in the St. George’s Cross. In his initial design, Miles included a palmetto and crescent symbols on the red background, but after the flag was flown at South Carolina's secession, some objected to its religious properties.

"Miles received a variety of feedback on this design, including a critique from Charles Moise, a self-described 'Southerner of Jewish persuasion,' the TCW website wrote, citing the work of author and historian John Coski. "Moise liked the design, but asked that 'the symbol of a particular religion not be made the symbol of the nation.' Taking this into account, Miles changed his flag, removing the palmetto and crescent, and substituting a heraldic saltire ('X') for the upright one."

Miles's flag was not selected as the official Confederate flag, but instead became the battle flag of Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. 

"Miles' flag, and all the flag designs up to that point, were rectangular ('oblong') in shape. General Johnston suggested making it square instead to conserve material," TCW wrote. "Johnston also specified the various sizes to be used by different types of military units."

The square Southern Cross flag flew as a battle flag, and it wasn't until after the war ended that the Southern Cross became well known. In a collage of photos showing the evolution of the Confederate flag, CNN posted one of a veteran Civil War soldier posing in 1875 in front of the flag, this time oblong in size. 

The flag came back into prominence when the Dixiecrats, the party affiliation supporting segregation that split from the Democrats, began using it in the 1940s to oppose desegregation of the military, according to CNN.

Urgent: Should Government Buildings Be Forced to Remove the Confederate Flag?

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The ethics, meaning, and history behind the Confederate flag with its distinctive blue-and-red design, have sparked a massive debate in America.
confederate flag, design, history
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2015-25-30
Thursday, 30 Jul 2015 01:25 PM
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