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Flags of the Confederate South

Here's a little history about our State flag as it should still be flying, I will never accept the new "Flag of Atlanta". I believe that the Confederate flag stands for anything, but hate and contempt. It stands for much, much more, our freedom to be Southron and to be proud of our ancestors and our heritage. So I say "Let It Fly", always a symbol of the "Proud South".

After the election of Abraham Lincoln as President in November of 1860, unofficial flags consisting of a single star on a solid background began appearing across the South. As each star on the U.S. flag signified a state, a single star indicated that the state had withdrawn ( or planned to withdraw) from the Union, which would make it a sovereign power.

Among the early actions was appointment of a committee to propose a new flag and seal for the Confederacy. The proposal adopted by the commission called for a flag consisting of a red field divided by a white band one-third the width of the field, making three bars of equal width. The flag had a blue square the height of two bars, on which was placed a circle of white stars corresponding in number to the States of the Confederacy. South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas. It soon came to be known as the "Stars and Bars". With 7 stars at first, the number jumped to 11 with the secession of Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee, and finally 13 (in recognition of the symbolic admission of Kentucky and Missouri to the Confederacy).


Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard and Joseph Johnston urged that a new Confederate flag be designed for battle. The result was the square flag sometimes known as the "Southron Cross" The Confederate Battle Flag consisted of a blue satire , resembling the Saint Andrew's Cross, on which were 13 stars, with the satire edged in white, all on a red background.

2nd NATIONAL FLAG of the CONFEDERACY 1863 - 1865

Throughout the spring of 1863, the Confederate Congress debated the design for a new National flag. On May 1, the last day of the session both houses agreed to a flag consisting of a white field. It was widely known as the "Stainless Banner". Because the 1st issue of this flag draped the coffin of General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, it was also known as the "Jackson Flag".


Although The War for Southron Independence was in it's final stages, President Jefferson Davis signed legislation on March 4, 1865, creating the 3rd National flag of the Confederacy. The new banner had a width two-thirds of its length. The flag's "Confederate Battle Flag" changed from a square to a rectangle three-fifths the width of the flag itself, and of a length so that the field beyond it measured twice the width of the field below it. The flag continued to use a white field to the right of the Battle Flag canton consisted of a red band. Authorized in the final months of the war, relatively few copies of the 3rd National flag were made and even fewer survived.

GEORGIA STATE FLAG before 1879 (unofficial)

History does not record who made the first Georgia State flag, when it was made, what it looked like, or who authorized its creation. In 1861, a new provision was added to Georgia's code requiring the governor to supply regimental flags to Georgia militia units assigned to fight outside the state. These flags were to depict the "arms of the state" and the name of the regiment, but the code gave no indication as to the color to be used on the arms, which is the prominent design-usually shown on a shield-located at the center of an armorial bearing or seal.


In 1879, state senator Herman H. Perry introduced legislation giving Georgia its first official state flag. The legislation provided no height vs. length dimensions, but it did state that the width of the blue band be one-third the length of the flag. Also, the red of the flag was specified to be Scarlet. Governor Colquitt approved Georgia's first official state flag on October 17, 1879.

GEORGIA STATE FLAG, c.1902 - 1906

In 1902, as part of another major reorganization of state military laws, the General Assembly changed Georgia's state flag again. A new addition stated that "On the blue field shall be stamped, painted or embroidered the coat of arms of the State; and every regiment and unassigned battalion shall, when on parade, carry this flag."

GEORGIA STATE FLAG, c. 1906 - 1920

Between 1902 and 1906, some unknown person or flag manufacturer added a gold-outlined white shield to the coat of arms,placed a date "1799" below the arms, and added a red ribbon with "Georgia" below the shield. Although the General Assembly had not authorized any changes to the state flag, apparently no one contested the new version.

GEORGIA STATE FLAG, c. 1920 - 1956

By the late 1910's or early 1920's, a new, unofficial version of Georgia's state flag -- one incorporating the entire state seal -- began appearing. The new flag may have resulted from a 1914 law changing the date on Georgia's state seal from 1799 (the date the seal was adopted) to 1776 (the year of independence).


In early 1955, Atlanta attorney John Sammons Bell (who later served as a judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals) suggested a new state flag for Georgia that would incorporate the Confederate Battle Flag. At the 1956 session of the General Assembly, state senators Jefferson Lee Davis and Willis Harden introduced Senate Bill 98 to change the state flag. Signed into law on February 13, 1956, the bill became effective the following July 1.
In the 1956 version, the stars are larger, and only the center point of the central star points up. Also the first copies of the 1956 flag used a different version of the state seal.

Below are some interesting facts and oddities about our great flag!!

  • From 1861 until 1865 there were two quite different views of Old Glory. All but worshipped in the North, it was hated in the South. Today, the Confederate battle flag occupies somewhat the same position. Many white Southron's who would be indignant at being called racists revere this flag; great numbers of other citizens abhor it and continue to try to get it removed from sight.

  • Because it was likely to mark the spot at which enemy fire was most concentrated, the flag frequently spelled death to its bearer, who typically went into battle unarmed. Confederate Lt. P.E. Drew of a Louisiana battery was described by comrades as "rushing into the jaws of death at Franklin." Four color bearers having previously been shot down, a fifth took a direct hit. Drew "instantly dropped his gun, caught the colors from the ground and rushed forward with them. He was pierced through the heart just as he reached the second line of works."

  • A flag led to the first widely publicized Union fatality of the war. Col. Elmer Ellsworth of the Eleventh New York Regiment ("Fire Zouaves") led his men into Alexandria, Virginia, on May 24,1861. During this first Federal invasion of Southern soil, Ellsworth spotted a Confederate flag on the roof of the Marshall House tavern. He dashed to the roof, removed the offending symbol, and on his way back down the stairs was shot and killed by tavern proprietor James T. Jackson.

  • According to her own account of exploits "in camp and prison," Confederate spy Belle Boyd shot and killed a Union soldier over a Confederate flag. Prominently displayed outside her Martinsburg, Virginia, home it was the target of a July 4,1861, raid by a squad of Federals said to have stayed too long at the tavern. A blast from Belle's hunting rifle leveled the leader of the group, at which the rest turned tail and ran---leaving the offending emblem waving in the breeze. More than a year later, at about age nineteen, the spy in skirts was sent to Baltimore by train. During the entire journey, she waved a small Confederate flag from her window.

  • It's doubtful that most who carried the Confederate battle flag or saw it in later years realized the full meaning of its stars. Though only eleven states seceded from the Union, the flag bears thirteen stars---one for each seceded state and one each for divided Kentucky and Missouri.

  • Confederate Maj. Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson, mortally wounded at Chancellorsville, was universally recognized as being irreplaceable. Speaking of his death, General Robert E.Lee said, "I have lost my right arm." Admirers of the battlefield hero arranged for formal funeral services to be held in the Presbyterian Church of Lexington, Virginia. Casting about for a suitable tribute, it was decided to drape his coffin with a Confederate flag, believed to be the first one ever made.

  • Confederate spy Rose Greenhow wrapped her body with a Confederate flag when she was ushered into Old Capital Prison in Washington. She reputedly waved that flag from her window almost every day, and again wrapped it around her torso when she went from the capital to Fort Monroe as a political prisoner.

  • Our True State Flag
    "She Will Always Fly"

    Click here for the "Provisions of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated Relative to Georgia's State Flag."