Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): Approx. 29" x 37.5"
Flag Size (H x L): 17.75" x 26.5"

Confederate parade flag in the third national format, block-printed on coarse cotton, made for use by either the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) or the United Confederate Veterans (UCV). The two organizations were founded in 1884 and 1889, respectively, and served as the primary post-war organizations for Confederate soldiers and their families. The women actually came first because it was safer for them to organize.

The strong shade of scarlet red is particularly attractive and the slightly larger center star in the Southern Cross is a nice feature. Note also how the unusual sweeping grain of the fabric lends an unusual effect to the presentation. The canton is larger than what is normally encountered, giving it a bold appearance, and the minor pigment loss from wear in the red and blue is visually compelling.

The flag was produced at the earlier end of the reunion era, probably sometime between 1890 and the 50th anniversary of Gettysburg in 1913. The materials and the manner in which the flag was affixed to its staff are indicative of this period. Since Confederate flags were seldom ever produced in the interim between the war's end (1865) and the mid-1880's, the logical assumption is that it post-dates the founding of the major Confederate groups and the shade of red is congruent with the post-1880's era in coarse cotton parade flags.

Confederate examples of this period that have survived to the present day are few and far between and they are even more scarce today than they were in the market place ten years ago. Due to widespread poverty in the south, brought about by the war and its aftermath, as well as the much shorter period of the organized veterans' movement, far less merchandise was produced for southern veteran's than for their Union counterparts. The versatile size of this particular flag contributes to its desirability, as does the attractive nature of its colors and graphics.

The Confederacy had three successive national designs, known as the first, second, and third Confederate national flags. The first looked much like the Stars & Stripes. Also known as "The Stars & Bars", it consisted of 7 white stars arranged on a blue canton and three linear stripes, which were instead termed "bars" (2 red with 1 white in-between).

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 surrender flag, especially if a unit that was carrying it was headed straight at you and there was no cross wind. If given the opportunity, soldiers would dip the fly end of the flag in blood.

36 days before the war’s end a red vertical bar was added at the fly end and the result became the third national design. This was called the “blood stained banner”, but officially the red did not represent blood, but rather paid homage to the French, who lent aid to the South during the war. If one were to replace the first third portions of the Third Confederate national flag with a blue vertical bar, the result would be the French tri-color (the national flag of France).

Many people are surprised to learn that by itself the Southern Cross 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 in this format, for that purpose, by Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia, as well as by Beauregard’s Army 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 it was so short-lived.

Mounting: The flag has been hand-stitched to 100% cotton twill, black in color, which was washed to reduce 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. Spacers keep the textile away from the glass, which is U.V. protective.

Condition: There is very minor foxing and staining and there is minor pigment loss. There are tiny holes along the hoist end, where the flag was formerly attached to its split wooden staff and there are a couple of other pinprick-sized holes. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.
Collector Level: Intermediate-Level Collectors and Special Gifts
Flag Type: Parade flag
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1890
Latest Date of Origin: 1913
State/Affiliation: The Confederacy
War Association: 1861-1865 Civil War
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire

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