Civil War Institute
he only logical place to start our journey with the Confederate flag is at its birth to examine meanings bestowed upon it by the Confederate soldiers. To do this, we must look at the history of flags within the Confederate nation. Upon its creation in 1861, the Confederate nation immediately set out to design a new flag. Headed by South Carolina’s former state representative, William Porcher Miles, a committee was formed to choose a design that would be original to the Confederacy while remaining reminiscent of the U.S. flag. Although Southerners had split from the Union itself, they were not splitting from their shared history. Southerners were very proud of the founding fathers and the rights they had guaranteed, particularly property rights and the rights of the people to choose their government. It was these very rights and the legacy of the founding fathers that Southerners saw themselves defending when they made the decision to secede. This led to the acceptance of a design known as the Stars and Bars, which mimicked the original United States flag in color and arrangement. George Pickett emphasized the importance of this connection when he wrote in a letter in May, 1862 that he would fight “till our Stars and Bars wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
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Ortman, Olivia J., "Finding Meaning in the Flag: Birth of a Symbol" (2017). The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History. 196.