|Confederate 1st National pattern (Stars & Bars) flag, made in the opening year of the Civil War, entirely hand-sewn and with 12 stars arranged in a circular wreath configuration that places one star in the very center. While present on other known Confederate flags, this star count is very unusual. It reflects the eleven states that officially seceded from the Union, plus one of the two key Border States--Missouri--that are typically represented on Southern Cross style Confederate "Battle Flags".
Missouri�s move toward secession was fueled in part by the Camp Jackson Massacre on May 10th, 1861, when Federal troops attacked Southern-minded militia. The people of Missouri were outraged, which gave Governor C.F. Jackson the necessary clout to begin to sever the state from the Union.
On May 21st, a temporary treaty was reached, but clashes between elected and military officials resulted in Jackson�s removal as Governor on June 11th. Jackson fled the state, but continued to strive for secession. Returning to Missouri, he issued a �Proclamation of Independence� during a speech on August 5th. Before this act, Confederate President Jefferson Davis did not take Jackson�s allegiance seriously. Davis now felt that the necessary support was intact. Two weeks later, on August 19th, the Confederate Congress passed a resolution that formed a formal alliance with the State of Missouri.
In September, Jackson gave another speech, which called his formerly removed, Southern-supporting congressman into session. They would meet on October 21st. This rump Congress formally approved the secession of Missouri on either October 28th or October 31st [accounts differ]. Although the ordinance was never presented to the people of the for a vote, Jackson sent the paperwork to Richmond and the Confederate States of America formally admitted Missouri as its twelfth state on November 28th, 1861.
Kentucky soon followed. While the state attempted to maintain neutrality, the invasion by Confederate troops prompted them to call upon Union forces to drive out the Confederate Army. On November 20th, 1861, while in a state of unrest, the people of Kentucky formed a group styling itself as a �Convention of the People of Kentucky�. With 200 participants representing 65 counties, the group voted in favor of secession and the Confederate States of America formally admitted Kentucky as the 13th state on December 10th, 1861.
The timeline of secession allows a fairly accurate estimate of the date of manufacture of Confederate flags with 12 stars. The 11th Confederate State, North Carolina, formally seceded on May 20th, 1861, just 10 days following the Camp Jackson Massacre. 12 star Confederate flags could have theoretically appeared in Missouri in protest of the Camp Jackson attack, or else in the months that followed, as Southern-leaning residents of the state trumpeted their cause. 12-star flags would have certainly appeared after the formal adoption of Missouri by the Confederate Congress, and would have been replaced by 13 star designs following the Confederate admission of Kentucky on December 10th.
Construction: The bars and canton are made of wool bunting that has been joined with hand-stitching. The stars are made of cotton, hand-sewn and double-appliqu�d, meaning that they are applied to both sides. A hand-sewn cotton or linen sleeve, with attractive golden coloration, binds the hoist end, at the top of which are two hand-sewn, whip-stitched grommets.
At approximately 38 x 58 inches feet in length, the size would be very small for a Union Army flag. Although the intended use is unknown, the materials employed in its construction strongly suggest an organized means of manufacture, rather than singular, homemade origin. Wool bunting had no other use outside the professional making of flags and banners, and would not have been typically available in a dry goods store. The Confederate Army employed 1st National design flags of this general size and scale both as battle flags and as other various signals, but I have also seen flags of a similar scale with history to small boats. I suspect that it was either made for use on a small craft on the Missouri or Mississippi Rivers, or by a Missouri militia unit.
Brief Notes on the 1st National Confederate Flag Design:
Many people are surprised to learn that the Confederate Battle Flag or Southern Cross was not the official flag of the Confederate States of America. In its official function, this flag served only as the Confederate Navy Jack. The 1st National flag of the Confederacy, affectionately known as the Stars & Bars, was adopted on March 4th, 1861. Because it too closely resembled the Stars & Stripes, it served poorly as a signal and so was replaced by the 2nd National design on May 1st, 1863. Because this new flag was also poorly designed, a 3rd national flag was introduced in 1865, but the war ended just 36 days later.
Mounting: The flag has been hand-stitched to 100% natural fabric for support on every seam and throughout the star field. The flag was then hand-stitched to a background of 100% cotton, black in color. The background fabric was washed to remove excess dye. An acid-free agent was added to the wash to further set the dye, and the fabric was heat-treated for the same purpose. The mount was then placed in a black-painted, hand-gilded and distressed Italian molding. The front is U.V. protective acrylic. |
Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, llc
||Phone: (717) 502-1281
||19th Century (1801-1900)|
||There are various small tears with associated fabric loss throughout. Fabric of similar coloration was placed behind the flag to minimize the visual effect of these areas. There is minor staining. The flag appears to have been seldom flown.|
||Frame: 50.25" x 70.25" Flag: 38.25" x 58.25"
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