Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 08.djvu/511

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Origin of the Confederate Battle Flag.

freely with General Johnston. Meanwhile it became known that the design for a flag was under discussion, and many designs were sent in. One came from Mississippi; one from J. B. Walton and E. C. Hancock, which coincided with the design of Colonel Miles. The matter was freely discussed at head-quarters, till, finally, when he arrived at Fairfax Courthouse, General Beauregard caused his draughtsman (a German) to make drawings of all the various designs which had been submitted. With these designs before them the officers at head-quarters agreed on the famous old banner—the red field, the blue cross, and the white stars. The flag was then submitted to the War Department, and was approved.

The first flags sent to the army were presented to the troops by General Beauregard in person, he then expressing the hope and confidence that it would become the emblem of honor and of victory.

The first three flags received were made from "ladies dresses" by the Misses Carey, of Baltimore and Alexandria, at their residences and the residences of friends, as soon as they could get a description of the design adopted. One of the Misses Carey sent the flag she made to General Beauregard. Her sister sent hers to General Van Dorn, who was then at Fairfax Courthouse. Miss Constance Carey, of Alexandria, sent hers to General Joseph E. Johnston.

General Beauregard sent the flag he received at once to New Orleans for safe keeping. After the fall of New Orleans, Mrs. Beauregard sent the flag by a Spanish man-of-war, then lying in the river opposite New Orleans, to Cuba, where it remained till the close of the war, when it was returned to General Beauregard, who presented it for safe keeping to the Washington Artillery, of New Orleans.

This article is penned to accomplish, if possible, two things: first, to preserve the little history connected with the origin of the flag; and, second, to place the battle flag in a place of security, as it were, separated from all the political significance which attaches to the Confederate flag, and depending for its future place solely upon the deeds of the armies which bore it amid hardships untold to many victories.