I thought it was somewhat masonic.I have seen the symbolism explained. The red edge is the Northern Hemisphere with the evil (red) Northen interference in the South being replaced with the blue clear sky of the Southern Hemisphere. The seven stars are for the seven Confederate states. The white stripes are the seven Confederate states (white for purity) joining the pure white circle which is the Confederate nation. The eye is the Confederate president watching over the nation and also God being all seeing.
The flag was based on the Aurora Borealis of September 18 1859 which some seen as an omen. The red of the evil North fading as the cear skys of the South pushed back the evil sky of the North.
Correct, William Porcher Miles, the Chairman of the Committee on Flag and Seal, submitted his own design to the First National Flag competition in 1861, his flag contained seven stars on a blue Saltier, and was the predecessor the Battle Flag, Congress did not particularly like the flag, and, as you say, one Representative stated that it looked like a "Pair of Suspenders".During the contest didn't a CSA Senator make the remark that the battleflag reminded him of a "Pair of Suspenders".
Here are some more flags from the First National Flag competition
I have more Confederate flag proposals, so feel free to let me know if you want to see more.
Never heard of Otey and Jennings before, I might have to research that.Kirkwood Otey gets major props in my book if that design in the top left is a black and white Gadsden. John Sansom certainly included it in his.
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J.M. Jennings had a pretty aesthetic design going for himself as well.
If you could please post the flags by Otey and Jennings, I would appreciate it a lot.