Historic Flags of the Texas State Library and Archives
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Wool and cotton,
25 x 80 inches
More Online Exhibits:
Under the Rebel Flag: Life in Texas During the Civil War
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.