Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): Approx. 20.25" x 24.5"
Flag Size (H x L): 9.25" x 13.5"
Confederate 3rd National Flag of the Confederate States of America, made during the early part of the reunion era, either for use by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) or the United Confederate Veterans (UCV). Founded in 1884 and 1889, respectively, these two groups served as the primary post-war organizations for Confederate soldiers and their families. The women actually organized first, because it was viewed as safer for them to assemble under the watchful eye of federal authorities.

Block-printed on coarse, glazed cotton, the flag displays the sort of folk art qualities, within its irregularities, that one would expect of a hand-printed flag of the late 19th century. Note how the elements don't line up correctly, and how the ink was inconsistently applied to the surfaces of the block. This resulted in stars with various shapes and with arms of inconsistent length. Also not how this particular example display a center star that is larger than the rest, which is an attractive feature.

The Confederacy had three successive national designs, of which this was the last, in official use for just 36 days before Lee's surrender at Appomattox. The First Confederate National Flag looked much like the Stars & Stripes. Also known as "The Stars & Bars," it initially consisted of 7 white stars arranged on a blue canton and a field of three linear stripes, which were instead termed "bars" (2 red with 1 white in-between). As more states seceded, more stars were added, with a total of 11 officially seceding by way of popular vote, followed by ratification of the respective state legislatures, plus the States of Missouri and Kentucky sometimes included. The later were accepted by Confederate President Jefferson Davis, despite their being Border States with divided views and less formal achievement of secession.

Use of the Stars & Stripes and the Stars & Bars on the same battlefield created great confusion. For this reason, the Second National Confederate flag was adopted on May 26th, 1863. Known as the Stainless Banner, it was white in color, with the Southern Cross (a.k.a. the Confederate Battle Flag) serving as its canton. Soldiers and officers alike disliked this design because it looked too much like a flag of truce, especially if a unit that was carrying it was headed straight at you and there was no cross wind. If given the opportunity, so the story goes, soldiers would dip the fly end of the flag in blood to provide color. Near the war's end, a red vertical bar was added at the fly end and the result became the Third National design. Nicknamed the “blood stained banner,” the red did not officially represent blood, according to the Confederate legislature, but rather paid homage to the French, which lent aid to the South during the war. If one were to replace the first two thirds of the Third Confederate National Flag, adjacent to the hoist end, with a blue vertical bar, the result would be the French tri-color (the national flag of France). Major Arthur Rogers, however, who redesigned the flag, noted the inadequacies of the Stainless Banner as a military signal and described this new version as having "as little as possible of the Yankee blue."

Many people are surprised to learn that the Southern Cross, by itself, was not the national flag of the Confederate States of America. Officially, in rectangular format, it served as the Confederate Navy Jack. In square format it came to be called “the battle flag”, partly because it was carried for that purpose by both Lee and Beauregard’s Armies, and others. It also received widespread love in the South because the second and third national designs were not particularly admired by Confederate soldiers, the second for reasons previously stated and the third because the design was so short-lived.

In spite of this fact, the Third National format somehow gained popularity during the reunion era. Because of the graphic qualities of this particular flag, and because it was made early in the reunion era, it is an especially nice example.

Mounting: The flag was mounted and framed within our own conservation department, which is led by expert trained staff. We take great care in the mounting and preservation of flags and have framed thousands of examples.

The hand-made frame with chip-carved decoration dates to the period between 1860 and 1885 and presents tremendously with the flag. The background is 100% cotton twill, black in color. Spacers keep the textile away from the glazing, which is U.V. protective glass.

Condition: There are a minor fabric losses and minor pigment loss along the hoist end, where the flag was once affixed to its original wooden staff. There are a couple of minor nicks and there is very minor foxing and staining. There is some misprinting, previously discussed, though the result is more positive than negative. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.
Collector Level: Advanced Collectors and the Person with Everything
Flag Type: Parade flag
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1884
Latest Date of Origin: 1910
State/Affiliation: The Confederacy
War Association: 1861-1865 Civil War
Price: SOLD

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