The First Official Flag of the Confederacy. Although less well known than the "Confederate Battle Flags",the Stars and Bars was used as the official flag of the Confederacy from March 1861 to May of 1863. The pattern and colors of this flag did not distinguish it sharply from the Stars and Stripes of the Union. Consequently, considerable confusion was caused on the battlefield.
The seven stars represent the original Confederate States; South Carolina (December 20, 1860), Mississippi(January 9, 1861), Florida (January 10,1861), Alabama (January 11, 1861), Georgia (January 19, 1861), Louisiana (January 26, 1861), and Texas (February 1, 1861).
The Confederate Battle Flag. The best-known Confederate flag, however, was the
Battle Flag, the familiar
"Southern Cross". It was carried by Confederate troops in the field which were the
vast majority of forces under the confederacy.
The Stars represented the 11 states actually in the Confederacy plus Kentucky and Missouri.
The second Official Flag of the Confederacy. On May 1st,1863, a second design was adopted, placing the Battle Flag (also known as the "Southern Cross") as the canton on a white field. This flag was easily mistaken for a white flag of surrender especially when the air was calm and the flag hung limply.
The flag now had 13 stars having been joined officially by four more states, Virginia (April 17, 1861), Arkansas (May 6, 1861), Tennessee (May 7, 1861), North Carolina (May 21, 1861). Efforts to secede failed in Kentucky and Missouri though those states were represented by two of the stars.
The third Official Flag of the Confederacy.On March 4th,1865, a short time before the collapse of the Confederacy, a third pattern was adapted; a broad bar of red was placed on the fly end of the white field.
Taken from the Flags of the Confederacy Home Page