Historic Flags of the Texas State Library and Archives

TSLAC 306-4046 Confederate First National Flag

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Wool and cotton,
25 x 80 inches

Conserved

1980 Conservation report (PDF)1980 Conservator's report - Panhandle Plains Historical Museum

Log of the prize schooner William, July 1862 (PDF)Log of the prize schooner William, July 1862 (courtesy Delaware Historical Society)

 

 

More Online Exhibits:
Under the Rebel Flag: Life in Texas During the Civil War

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TSLAC 306-4046
Confederate First National Flag

This Lone Star variation on the first national flag of the Confederacy (the "Stars and Bars") bears the ink inscription "Captured from Schooner William near Oyster Bay." The reverse side is inscribed with the word "Martine."

For some years it was believed that this flag was captured in October 1863 from the British schooner William off the coast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, an incident documented in the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion (Naval), and that backstory is reflected in the flag's conservation reports. However, recent research has determined that the flag was almost certainly captured from another British schooner named William on July 1, 1862, off the coast of Sabine Pass, Texas. At that time, the area was home to a massive oyster bed that forced boats to travel in narrow channels near shore. Loaded with 405 bales of cotton, William was en route to Jamaica when captured by the USS De Soto and taken to Key West, Florida by acting master William L. Martine.

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Page last modified: April 8, 2016