The Order of Confederate Colors
Knights of the Golden Circle, KGC Information Exchange, Nov. 14, 2008
New York Times, 1896: "The Confederate Convention. Richmond Filling
with People Who Will Attend It. RICHMOND, Va., June 29.--Richmond is
all ready for the sixth annual reunion of the United Confederate
Veterans, which commences here to-morrow, continuing three days, and
winding up Thursday afternoon with a grand parade and the ceremonies
incident to the laying of the cornerstone of the Jefferson Davis
Monument. On regular and special trains Confederate camps, troops,
delegations, and unattached visitors are pouring into the city, and by
to-morrow morning the accommodations of Virginia's capital will be
pressed to their utmost capacity.
Along the line of march of Thursdays' procession the stores and
residences are beautifully decorated, as are buildings in various
other parts of the city. The CONFEDERATE COLORS predominate, but the
National colors are also largely in evidence. Nearly every man,
woman, and child one meets wears a Confederate button."
Red, White and Blue. We choose what we see through many years of
learning another way so we honestly want to see something like
Confederate colors as red, white and blue. Logic should tell us the
Confederacy would not choose new emblems from flag to Great Seal and
allow the old colors of union to remain--Britain and the first
Many Confederate pre-flag examples (with horizontal stripes) prior to
the adoption of the Stars and Bars showed an order of color in blue,
white and red. This information from the very first Confederate flag
considerations is revealing: "Submitted by 'A Gentleman of Louisville,
Kentucky.' This is a design theme which will be seen in a number of
submissions. The colors of the U.S. Stars and Stripes are reversed.
The 'gentleman' says that the 7 BLUE STRIPES REPRESENTED THE FIRST
SEVEN States forming the CSA. The number of white stars is to increase
as new States join the CSA."
In the formation of the "Republic of Louisiana" (11 February 1861) was
the adoption of their own flag: "We, the people of the State of
Louisiana in convention assembled, do ordain and establish that the
flag of the State of Louisiana shall consist and be composed of
thirteen horizontal stripes of the colors hereinafter described, and
to be disposed in the following order, commencing from the upper line
or edge of the flag, to wit: the first stripe BLUE; second, WHITE;
third, RED; fourth, white; fifth, BLUE; sixth, WHITE; seventh, RED;
eighth, white; ninth, BLUE; tenth, WHITE; eleventh, RED; twelfth,
white; and the thirteenth, or bottom stripe, BLUE. We do further
ordain and establish that there shall be in the upper or chief corner
of the flag, a square field, the color whereof shall be red; and the
sides therefor equal to the width of seven stripes, and that in the
center of said field there shall be a star of due proportionate size,
having five points or rays; and that the color of the said star shall
be a paile yellow. We do further ordain and establish that the said
flag, and no other, shall be the NATIONAL flag of the State of Louisiana."
The current Stars and Bars pattern of the Mississippi flag, with
battle flag in canton, is also a living reminder of the Confederate
order of colors as its top to bottom bars feature blue, white and red
(the Stars and Bars is not the St. Andrew's "X" as commonly
misrepresented). In 1892, Mississippi chose a hybrid flag of the
First National and Stainless Banner but a wartime example that can be
seen at the Alabama state museum in Montgomery. Unlike the
Confederate example of Stars and Bars (red, white then red) and St.
Andrew's or Jacob's cross in canton, Mississippi's design shows bars
top to bottom of BLUE, WHITE and RED.
The description of Mississippi's flag recommended by the joint
legislative committee was: "One with width two-thirds of its length,
with the union square in width, two-thirds of the width of the flag;
the ground of the union to be red and a broad blue saltier thereon
bordered with white and emblazoned with thirteen (13) mullets or
five-pointed stars, corresponding to the number of the original States
of the Union; the field to be divided into three bars of equal width,
the upper one BLUE, the center one WHITE, the lower one RED; THE
NATIONAL COLORS; the staff surmounted with a spear-head and battle-axe
below; the flag to be fringed with gold, and the staff gilded with gold."
There are examples of Dixie's blue, white and red but one of my
favorite is a color version showing the Confederacy's Great Seal
(1913) produced by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. One only
has to note an order of color in its ribbon from left to right and
outer to inner rings of the Great Seal as with the French
Tricolor's--blue, white and red.
Some will say the Confederate Congress did not specify an order of
colors but such does not mean there was without. The first
Confederate Congress failed to formally adopt the Stars and Bars but
it became even better known. As Confederates we must not allow
sentimentality of union to obscure Confederate issues for sake of
peace on New England terms. Make sure your Confederate activities and
organisations use Dixie's true colors because they are a living heritage.