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Historical Flags Of United States

Xiamen Novelty Flag Co.,Ltd | Updated: Sep 22, 2016

Gadsden Flag - "Don't Tread on Me" Flag

Undoubtedly the most popular and historically significant flag (other than the good ole Red, White, and Blue) is the Gadsden Flag. This flag is thought to be modeled off of the United States' first known political cartoon, penned by none other than Benjamin Franklin. Though Franklin made the "Join or Die" cartoon, it was Christopher Gadsden who designed the flag. Gadsden served as a Brigadier General in the Continental Army, which is likely to explain why the Continental Marines used the Gadsden for a few years. More recently, theGadsden Flag has seen a revival of sorts in recent years, with the United States military sporting Gadsden emblazoned gear, as well as supporters of the U.S National Soccer team flying it during the 2010 World Cup.

1st Navy Jack

The current U.S. jack authorized by the United States Navy, the 1st Navy Jack flag, is traditionally regarded as that of the first U.S. naval jack flown in the earliest years of the republic. The flag consists of a rattlesnake, superimposed across 13 horizontal alternating red and white stripes with the motto "DONT TREAD ON ME". The jack was first employed by Commodore Esek Hopkins in the fall of 1775 as he readied the continental navy in the Delaware River. His signal for the whole fleet to engage the enemy was the striped jack and ensign flown at their proper places. The1st Navy Jack was first used in recent history during the Bicentennial year, 1976, when all commissioned naval vessels were directed to fly it for the entire year, in lieu of the standard fifty-star jack.

Confederate Navy Jack

The display of the Confederate flag is a highly controversial topic, generally because of disagreement over its symbolism. The flag has been used as a navy jack at sea from 1863 onward. This flag has become the generally recognized symbol of the South. During the first half of the 20th century, the Confederate flag enjoyed renewed popularity. During World War II some U.S. military units with Southern nicknames, or made up largely of Southerners, made the flag their unofficial emblem.

Some radical groups have adopted this flag and desecrated it by their acts, but they have no right to use this flag. It is a flag of honor, designed by the confederacy as a banner representing state's rights and still revered by the South. In fact, under attack, it still flies over the South Carolina capitol building. The South denies any relation to these hate groups, and denies them the right to use the flags for any purpose.

Bonnie Blue

The Bonnie Blue flag was an unofficial banner of the Confederate States of America at the start of the American Civil War in 1861. First raised in 1810 over the fort of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, by a band of Florida troops, the Bonnie Blue served as the symbol of southern independence, and as the official flag of the Confederacy, until it was replaced by the Stars and Bars in 1861. The Bonnie Blue was used by the Republic of Texas from 1836 to 1839. In 1861, it flew over the capital building in Jackson, Mississippi, inspiring the southern patriotic song - "The Bonnie Blue Flag," composed by Harry MaCarthy. It was also used in one form or another by numerous southern confederate states.

Confederate 1st National

The first official flag of the confederacy was the Stars and Bars, or Confederate 1st National flag. This flag was first flew over Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, SC in 1861. When the Southern States seceded from the Union, each State used its own flag in place of the Stars and Stripes. Then as the Confederation of States was effected there arose a demand for a distinctive flag which would be acceptable to all of the States. On March 4, 1861, the same day that Mr. Lincoln was inaugurated President, the assembly at Montgomery, Alabama adopted the first flag of the Confederacy. They retained the red, white and blue colors of the United States flag, as well as the blue canton, and used stars to represent the States. They replaced the thirteen stripes of alternate red and white with three of the same colors. These they called Bars, which gave rise to the popular name, the 

Confederate 2nd National

The Stars and Bars flag too closely resembled the Stars and Stripes to be acceptable to those who favored a complete severance of ties with the Union, and who were ready to break away absolutely from the old flag. Through the years during the war, the demand became greater for a modification of the National emblem, which would make it more distinctive. In May, 1863 the Confederate Congress at Richmond succumbed to the demands. They placed the famous Battle Flag of the Confederacy, which had been transformed from an oblong into a square emblem in the union, and substituted a white field for the red and white bars. Thus the Stars and Bars, under which many Southern lives had been sacrificed, passed into history. This new Confederate 2nd National flag existed for less than a year before it too was modified.

Confederate 3rd National

At a distance, when the union was hidden by folds, the 2nd Confederate flag could readily be mistaken for the white flag of truce. Therefore, it was acceptable to the Confederate military leaders in the field. After nearly a years use, this flag was modified. A red bar extending over the width of the banner and covering the outer half of the field was added. The famous Battle Flag of the Confederacy in its square form was retained in the union.

This was the Confederate 3rd National and final national flag of the Confederacy. Under it, General Lee conducted the campaign of 1864, which began with the battle of the Wilderness, and ended with the transfer of the Federal Army across the James River, through the siege of Petersburg and their final retreat. He surrendered to General Grant in April 1865, and brought an end the bloodiest civil war of modern times.