The Confederate Flag, commonly known as the “Rebel Flag”, is the symbol of the Confederate States of America, the losing party of the Civil War. A Flag composed of thirteen white stars and banners of blue, white, and red, the flag is a representation of the thirteen confederate colonies. Often described as the symbol for South Supremacy, slavery, and racial discrimination, the flag has been met with mixed criticism. To learn more about the history of the confederate flag, here are 10 points you need to know all about it:
Fact 1: Popularly known as the “Rebel Flag”, the confederate flag is a relatively new symbol for the Southern part of America. The flag wasn’t part of any of the other state flags and was not acknowledged as such until after the Supreme Court ruled that it be, and subsequently forced its integration within public schools.
Fact 2: After the Supreme Court decided that it was to be acknowledged as part of the state flags, Georgia declared that it was deemed fit to serve as part of their state flag. The confederate flag became officially part of the Georgia state flag in 1965.
Fact 3: Not all those who resided in Georgia were happy about the confederate flag waving proudly on the pole as their state flag. Back in 2003, roughly 73.1% of the population of Georgia voted to remove the rebel flag from their state flag.
Fact 4: Historically, the confederate flag had gone through several changes in design, but one of the most prominent designs remained to be the version of the thirteen white starts against a blue square on the upper left hand corner, with blue, white, and red stripes. The outer ring of thirteen stars would represent the original Thirteen Colonies; the second ring of six stars would represent the six nations that held sovereignty over Mississippi territory, while the inner and slightly bigger star represents Mississippi itself.
Fact 5: Contrary to popular belief, The Confederate States of America, which was a group consisting of seven states that supported slave ownership during the mid-1800s and wanted to secede from the United States, did not use the current Confederate flag as its national flag. Several versions of the original flag had been made post-American Civil War.
Fact 6: From March 1861 up until May 1863, the confederacy created a new flag; a national flag called Stars and Bars made up of seven stars to represent the seven states: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and lastly, Texas.
Fact 7: The evolution of the confederate flag all took place within the span of three years. The first version of the flag had seven starts embroidered in it, followed by a national flag having 9 stars, followed by eleven. Lastly, the final version of the flag boasted thirteen stars which represented the thirteen colonies.
Fact 8: Committee Chairman William Porcher Miles who came from South Carolina was so floored with the number of flag designs that he lost track of how many. In a report he filed on the 5th of March, 1861, he proposed that the designs be divided into two categories, namely: (1) the variations of the American flag, and (2) the more highly elaborate and original confederate flag designs.
Fact 9: The confederate flag was met with much criticism and to this day resonates a feeling of discomfort to most Black Americans. Seeing the flag may be a symbol of racism and disrespect for some cultures due to the fact that it serves as a reminder that the only reason the Blacks lost their freedom was due to the fact that the cause was lost. The flag was s symbol of slavery and the war that broke out was fueled by the wan to maintain the unjust system.
Fact 10: Tragedy struck on the evening of June 17, 2015, when nine African-Americans were shot dead inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church situated in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. The perpetrator, 21-year old Dylan Roof, pled guilty and stated that he did so in hopes of igniting a race war. The heinous act is an echo the atrocities that took place more than 52 years ago. Roof was seen posing for a picture of him waving a miniature confederate flag while holding a gun, looking the camera dead in the eye.