Confederate National, Bonnie Blue, South Carolina State and Secession Flags
In his book written in 1867, 'The Tribute Book', Frank Goodrich has this to say "In the first month after the fall of Sumter, the people of the United States spent a million dollars for flags, and half as much more for badges, emblems, cockades, rosettes, and other patriotic devices. For one flag torn down, thousands upon thousands were thrown to the wind. In the cities they floated not only from liberty-pole, flag-staff, and casement, not only from ropes and halliards [sic], but from steeple, spire, and belfry. "We will take our glorious flag," said Bishop Simpson, "and nail it just below the cross. That is high enough! There let it wave, as it waved of old. First Christ, then our country!" The streets were gorgeous with the loyal colors; and when the wind blew at right angles with the grand thoroughfares of the larger cities, the sky seemed heavy with massive red and blue, and stars could be seen at mid-day. Before the rebellion there were not ten flag-staffs upon private edifices in Broadway; by the first of June there were hundreds. The flag manufacturers were overrun, and though they doubled and trebled their prices, there was no diminution in the demand. When bunting gave out, pongee, China silk and finally cotton were used. What recruiting officers those starry banners were! They rendered better service than provost-marshals have since. Mr. Thomas W. Davidson, a rigger by trade, who believed that no height was too lofty to bear the stars and stripes, raised the flag upon the pinnacle of Trinity and St. Paul's, apparently at the imminent risk of his life, and offered to do as much for any church, gratis. William O'Donnell and Charles McLaughlin, painters, clambered up Grace Church lightning rod, fastened a staff to the stem of the cross, threw out the flag, and raised their hats to the crowd below. There have been few open air spectacles more beautiful than the display of the national colors in the cities, on two widely dissimilar occasions: when Sumter was lost, and when it was recovered. There may be a certain beauty, fantastic and weird, in a feast of lanterns; but there is more than beauty, there is grandeur, inspiration, sublimity, in a carnival of flags."
In the Southern States it was no different when they exercised, what they believed to be, their constitutional right to secede from the Union. It was common practice till long after the Civil War to have a distinct Battle flag. Here are some of the flags that flew in South Carolina and were carried by her troops. Needless to say most were flown in the rest of the Confederacy just with their own variations of Sate Flag. Many of the citizens of these states still wave the flags that their forefathers used during these 4 years of independence. Others object to this display of affection for what is known as the 'Lost Cause.'
The lost flags
Confederate flags that had been captured in battle, or handed over in surrender, were forwarded to the War Department in Washington, DC In 1868 these flags were identified and then cataloged. Later between 1874 and 1882 they were displayed in the Washington Ordnance Museum. These flags were then placed in storage, and despite repeated requests for their return it was rejected.
PresidentGrover Cleveland, the only Democrat to occupy the White House since the Civil War, agreed when in 1887 Secretary of War William Endicott suggested the return to the Confederate States the Battle Flags that had been captured from Southern forces during the Civil War that were now moldering in the attic of the War Department. Cleveland agreed. This produced a furor instigated by such papers as the 'New York Tribune' and the 'Grand Army of the Republic.' (This organization was a powerful veteran's association, numbering some 400,000 Union veterans and was a most formidable lobby.) The passions of any war die hard, particularly civil wars, so when Cleveland ran for reelection in 1888, he was defeated by Benjamin Harrison, a decorated veteran and a staunch supporter of the 'GAR.'
The Spanish-American War saw Northerners and Southerners once again fighting under the same flag, and for the same country. In 1905 there was a Republican in the White House, Theodore Roosevelt, on 28 February he put forwards a bill to return the Confederate Battle Flags. It unanimously passed both houses and was signed into law. William H. Taft, Secretary of War, returned the captured flags to the former Confederate states. Any unidentified colours went to the Confederate Memorial Literary Society in Richmond, Virginia.