The First Battles: April 1861 to February 1862

Flag Fever

What was the original Confederate flag?

There were so many different ones, stitched together so quickly, that the question is nearly impossible to answer. The first one to appear was the Palmetto Flag, which showed up in the harbor at Charleston within days of Lincoln’s election. But when the seven states in secession banded together to form the Confederate States of America, another race was on to see which flag would be best.

The most hopeful and optimistic flag was the one that proudly showed fifteen stars: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri. Had this collection actually joined the Confederacy, it is difficult to see how the Union could have prevailed. But, as we will see, only four of the other states joined the seven already in secession, and later Confederate flags acknowledged the fact by placing eleven stars rather than fifteen.


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