Flags of the Texas State Library and Archives

TSLAC 306-4059, Confederate First National

Click image for larger view

Wool and cotton, 102 x 156 inches
Unconserved

TSLAC 306-4059
Confederate First National Flag

When the Confederate government formed in early 1861, the would-be nation had no flag to act as its symbol. Many in the Confederate Congress argued that the states of the Confederacy should retain the American flag (“Stars and Stripes”), while others believed they should adopt a flag so different that it represented a complete break from the past. What resulted was a compromise that became known as the “Stars and Bars.” Three stripes of red and white shared the field with a blue canton displaying a star for each state in the Confederacy (flags exist bearing as few as seven stars and as many as 13 stars).

Because of the bitterness of the fighting, the Confederate government lost popularity over the course of the war, and along with it the flag. The Stars and Bars was discontinued in 1863 for a new design that incorporated the Confederate battle flag with the familiar St. Andrew’s Cross. After the war, the Stars and Bars and its successors were forgotten while the Confederate battle flag became the symbol of the “Lost Cause.”

<< Previous Flag | Next Flag >>

Home | Complete List of Flags | Suggested Reading | Feedback | Other Exhibits

Conservation report (PDF)

1980 Conservator's report - Panhandle Plains Historical Museum

More from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission:
Under the Rebel Flag: Life in Texas During the Civil War