Historic Flags of the Texas State Library and Archives
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Wool and cotton,
74 x 112 inches
More Online Exhibits:
Under the Rebel Flag: Life in Texas During the Civil War
Confederate Second National Flag
The First National Flag of the Confederacy, known as the “Stars and Bars,” had lost popularity by the middle of 1863, with many Southerners feeling it too closely resembled the American flag (“Stars and Stripes”). A new banner, soon nicknamed the “Stainless Banner,” consisted of a snow-white flag with the Confederate battle flag (St. Andrew’s cross) in the canton. The flag’s use was short-lived, as in the absence of wind it resembled the white flag of surrender.
This flag is inscribed on the edge with the words "Battle of Mobile Bay; No 206; Wm Long's Phil Museum Sale." Though documentation is lacking, the inscription suggests that the flag may have been captured during the decisive naval action at Mobile Bay, Alabama, on August 5, 1864. William W. Long was a Philadelphia bar owner who exhibited a vast collection of curiosities in his "museum" in the years during and after the Civil War. His collection was auctioned by his heirs in 1943, though the exact route by which the flag made its way to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission is still unknown.