|SMALL PARADE FLAG IN A RECTANGULAR, SOUTHERN CROSS FORM OF THE CONFEDERATE “BATTLE FLAG”, MADE FOR THE LAST REUNION OF UNITED CONFEDERATE VETERANS (U.C.V.) IN 1951, AT NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, ACCOMPANIED BY A U.S.P.S. FIRST DAY COVER AND (2) 3-CENT STAMPS, PRODUCED TO COMMEMORATE THE EVENT
|Frame Size (H x L):
|14" x 12"
|Flag Size (H x L):
|Small parade flag in a rectangular, Southern cross form of the Confederate “battle flag,” made for the 61st and final reunion of the United Confederate Veterans (U.C.V.) in 1951, held from May 30th - June 3rd, at Norfolk, Virginia. The flag is accompanied by a United States Postal Service First Day Cover (a small, decoratively printed envelope), and two 3-cent stamps, all of which came out of the same collection, and all of the above produced to commemorate the event. The cover has a stamp of the same variety, and was postmarked in Norfolk on May 30th, 1951, at precisely 9 AM.
The flag, printed on cotton and machine-bound on all four sides, is silk-embroidered with the date and the organization’s initials. In spite of aggressive searching and acquisition of early flags for more than 20 years, I have never before seen this variety, nor any other, that was actually dated “1851.”
Federal law prohibited the assembly of Confederate societies until 1878, three years after a deal was struck to end Reconstruction. The U.C.V. organized on June 10th, 1889. Their first reunion was held from June 3rd-5th of the following year, at Chattanooga, Tennessee. Invitations were extended to veterans of both the Union and the Confederacy, and the general public was welcome. At the height of its popularity, in the early 20th century, the number of members reached as high as 160,000, reflecting about 25% of the total population of surviving veterans.
By 1951, just one last man remained "standing" from the long grey line. That was Pleasant Riggs Crump, who afterwards passed on the very last day of that same year, at the age of 104. Crump had enlisted in 1864 and mustered into the 10th Alabama Infantry, Company A. He was present at Appomattox Courthouse for Robert E. Lee's surrender. In 1850, two other men claimed to have served in the Confederate Army. After Crump’s death, twelve others came forth and made the same claim. Extensive research proved all of the above false.
Note that both of the stamps included here were signed by one of the impostors, John B. Selling, who liberally lent himself the title of General when he did so.
The last surviving Union veteran is considered to be Albert Woolson of New York, who died in 1956 at the claimed age of 108. Census records showed he was actually 106. The next-to-the last was James Albert Hard, also of New York, who passed in 1953 at the claimed age of 111. Census research indicates that he was probably a year or two younger, as well, and may have inflated his age to gain service.
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, flown when a ship was at port or anchor. In either square or rectangular format it was also carried by land forces as a battle flag and was assigned that generic title, partly because it was carried for that purpose by both Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, by P.G.T. Beauregard’s Armies, and by 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.
Mounting: The flag, stamps, and cover were mounted and framed within our own conservation department, which is led by expert staff. We take great care in the mounting and preservation of flags and have framed thousands of examples.
The red-painted molding dates to the period between 1830 and 1860, and retains excellent early surface. This is a pressure mount between 100% cotton twill, black in color, that has been washed and treated for colorfastness, and U.V. acrylic (Plexiglas).
Condition: There is minor soiling in the flag, some oxidation on the cover, and edge wear on both the cover and stamps.
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|1861-1865 Civil War
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