One of the more visible and controversial images in American history would have to be the Confederate flag.
The flag itself has a history all its own.
According to dixieshop.com, the Confederate flag we know today started as the battle flag of the Confederate Army of the Potomac — and it was not the original battle flag. The first national flag of the Confederacy, (also known as the Stars and Bars) was adopted as the original Confederate flag in 1861. This first battle flag looked like the flag we know today as the flag of the United States. The problem was that, on the battlefield, that flag was identical to the flag of the Union army.
Various Confederacy regiments went ahead and tried to adapt their battle flag designs. Each flag represented emotional importance for the soldiers who fought and for the families of soldiers who fought and died while at war. Each flag was adorned with pride for the acts of the soldiers who served.
As the Civil war continued, the Confederacy continued to move away from the past association with the Union flag. By 1962, Confederate leaders wanted an official battle flag that didn’t resemble the American flag of the United States, but a flag that reflected the established independence of the Confederacy.
After much thought, Confederate leaders ruled that the battle flag from Robert E. Lee’s regiment was the best Confederate flag to represent the new nation. (Robert E. Lee was quite well known and respected for his army’s victories from 1862 to 1863.) The well-known Confederate battle flag of the Army of The Potomac was then chosen as the Confederacy flag on May 1, 1863.
While the symbol of the flag is generally (and not incorrectly) associated with the side of the civil war that wants to keep slavery legal, the history is nonetheless quite fascinating and well worth the attention of any historian.
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