Hearing a lot of babble from talking heads today about the flying of the “Confederate Flag” over the State House in South Carolina. However, that flag flying in South Carolina (whatever it might symbolize — good or bad — to some people) is NOT “the Confederate flag”.
There were three flags representing the Confederate States of America. The first, referred to as the “Stars and Bars”, was in use from 1861 to 1863, and came in several varieties, first with 7 stars and then adding others as additional states seceded, until the final version had 13 stars.
The Stars and Bars proved too easily confused, in battle, with the American flag, so was replaced with the second Confederate Flag. This one was called “The Stainless Banner” and was in use from 1863 to 1865.
During the last few months of the Civil War, a third Confederate Flag was briefly in use. It was called “The Blood-Stained Banner”.
The flag flying in South Carolina is actually the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia.
It may well be that this flag has come to be a symbol of rebellion, racism and hatred, but it is NOT “the Confederate Flag”, as so many are calling it.
A good argument can be made that this flag ought not to be flying on government property (though I support unequivocally the right of private persons to fly it on their private property) … but, in my simple mind, it seems to me that so-called “professional” communicators ought to at least be able to correctly identify it.
The Wikipedia article on Confederate flags provides more information about the flags discussed here, as well as other flags used by the Confederate states and their military units: