Restricted Confederate Flag Proposals


Aug 11, 2008

A couple Confederate flag proposals recorded in a 1917 book published by the National Geographic Society provide a fascinating look into the Secessionist mindset of the 1860s:

...Jan. 2, 1862, a Richmond correspondent wrote in the Charleston Mercury:
"Quite a number of new fangled flags are exhibited in the windows of the Despatch office at Richmond. The latest, which is gotten up with great care and neatness, represents in tri-colors, three equal horizontal bars; lower black, middle purple, upper white with stars in it. The black bar is designed to notify mankind that the confederacy sprung from black republicanism. Hah! how would a buzzard sitting on a cotton bale with a chew of tobacco in his mouth a little n*** in one claw, and a palmetto tree, answer? Nothing could be more thoroughly and comprehensively southern."...

March 6, 1862. The Charleston (South Carolina), Mercury proposed a flag, divided diagonally (see plate ix), half white and half black, and argued: " It is unlike the ensign of any other nation and especially unlike that of the Yankee nation. Those that imagine a flag should be symbolical will find in the colors of this one, white and black, an obvious significance. Such a standard would typify our faith in the peculiar institution, and be an enduring mark of our resolve to retain that institution while we exist as a free and independent people. For maritime uses this proposed flag, although it discards the everlasting Yankee stars, and the worn out combinations of red, white and blue, would be distinguishable at as great a distance as any other that can be devised."
What I did not realize, however (how have I missed this??), is that William T. Thompson's rationale for the official design of the second national flag ("The Stainless Banner") was itself overtly white supremacist:

"Our idea is simply to combine the present battle flag with a pure white standard sheet; our southern cross, blue, on a red field, to take the place on the white flag that is occupied by the blue union in the old United States flag or the St. George's cross in the British flag. As a people, we are fighting to maintain the heaven ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause."



First Sergeant
May 27, 2018
Corona, California
Thompson did not design the second flag ("The Stainless Banner") in fact he only merely promoted even then it was just simply PR another person designed it and its purpose probably wasn't what Thompson stated. The first Confederate Flag ("Stars and Bars") was basically designed as an imitation of the "Betsy Ross" flag. The thing is the Confederates saw themselves as the inheritors of the American Revolution and its principles just as their Union counterparts did this can be with the aforementioned-Stars and Bars (based off the original 13-star "Betsy Ross" flag), the coat of arms that featured George Washington (the 1st President of the United States) on horseback, the letters by individual Confederate soldier mentioning the American Revolution and George Washington as their inspirations, Confederate currency featuring Francis "Swamp Fox" Marion and the Treaty of Paris, the Confederate Constitution which was a verbatim-for-verbatim copy of the U.S. Constitution (with the exception of a few small changes), The Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union mentioning the Declaration of Independence and the ARW, the South Carolina naval secession banner incorporating the "Don't Tread on Me" snake, the South Carolina address to the Southern states stating “The government of the United States is no longer a Government of Confederated Republics … it is no longer a free Government, but a despotism. It is, in fact, such a Government as Great Britain attempted to set over our fathers; and which was resisted and defeated by a seven years’ struggle for independence.” South Carolina Baptist minister James Hanley Thornwell noted "On the other hand, we are struggling for constitutional freedom. We are upholding the great principles which our fathers bequeathed us, and if we should succeed, and become, as we shall, the dominant nation of this continent, we shall perpetuate and diffuse the very liberty for which Washington bled, and which the heroes of the Revolution achieved"., the Bonnie Blue Flag one of the three unofficial anthems of the Confederate States (alongside Dixie and God Save the South) referencing the American Patriots in one of its verses:
"Like patriots of old we'll fight, our heritage to save"

So yeah there was a bit of American Revolution in the Confederates.
Last edited:
Dec 20, 2018
The latest, which is gotten up with great care and neatness, represents in tri-colors, three equal horizontal bars; lower black, middle purple, upper white with stars in it.

I'd be fascinated to see a recreation of that flag! Black, Purple and White on a Tricolour? Sounds like an intriguing flag, I wonder if it had a canton, there doesn't seem to be a mention of a union.