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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/77

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The Confederate States Flag. 69

When the Confederate Army, commanded by General Beaure- gard, and the Federal Army confronted each other at Manassas, it was seen that the Confederate flag and the Stars and Stripes looked at a distance so much alike that it was hard to distinguish one from the other. General Beauregard, thinking that serious mistakes might be made in recognizing our troops, ordered, after the battle of July 1 8, at Blackburn Ford, that a small red badge should be worn on the left shoulder by our troops, and, as I was chief quarter- master, ordered me to purchase a large quantity of red flannel and distribute it to each regiment. I distributed the red flannel to sev- eral regiments, who placed badges on the left shoulders of the men. During the battle of Bull Run it was plainly to be seen that a great number of Federal soldiers wore a similar red badge. I saw these badges on a number of prisoners we captured that day.


Generals Beauregard and Johnston met at Fairfax Courthouse in the latter part of August or early in September and determined to have a battle-flag for every regiment or detached command that could easily be recognized. I was telegraphed for to come at once to Fairfax Courthouse. I found Generals Beauregard and Johnston in General Beauregard's office discussing the kind of flag that should be adopted. General Johnston's flag was in the shape of an ellipse a red flag, with blue St. Andrew's cross and stars on the cross (white), to represent the different Southern States. No white bor- der of any kind was attached to this cross. General Beauregard's was a rectangle, red, with blue St. Andrew's cross and white stars, similar to General Johnston's.

After we had discussed the two styles, taking into consideration the cost of material and the care of making the same, it was decided that the elliptical flag would be harder to make, that it would take more cloth and that it could not be seen so plainly at a distance; that the rectangular flag drawn and suggested by General Beaure- gard should be adopted.

General Johnston yielded at once when the reasons given by Gen- eral Beauregard and myself were so good and substantial. No one else was present but we three until an order was issued adopting the Beauregard flag, as it was called, and directing me, as chief quarter- master, to have the flag made as soon as it could be done.

I immediately issued an address to the good ladies of the South