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"1st National flag question" Topic

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marshalGreg27 Sep 2017 2:42 p.m. PST

I have been enjoying the research of my units as I start my project in the ACW ( traditionally Napoleonic dude).
Unfortunately I have hit a road block and how to receive/be directed to information in order to determine how best to proceed.

What I have been able to conclude is this.
1st National caused issues and was to be replaced and not used shortly after 1st Manasass.
Many state units did not have a state flag to carry ( NC: regt1-10 & 26 and up, Va, LA, and SC seem to be the few who supplied some)
Silk flags were limited to specific brigades and these seem to not be included.
Cotton and 1st bunting seem to be given to a few brigades and not to these.
2nd & 3rd bunting was not issued until starting in Sept 1862

So what was the mostly likely flag carried by these units during the period of Jan 1862 and Sept 1862?
Can any one direct as to sources that can give light to this?
The units being Featherstons/GB Anderson brigades, Lawton's GA Brigade, Taliaferro/Fulkerson's brigade, Campbell/Cunningham's Brigade, and finally Jackson's brigade along with new units added during this period.
Thank you in advance


RudyNelson27 Sep 2017 2:57 p.m. PST

Well that is a specific time fame and I am going to make it more confusing.
The Second national looked too much like a white surrender flag and was soon replaced by the third national with the red bar. However these were mainly administrative so were mainly flown in "garrison".
Field combat or battle flags in most of the war was Corps or Theatre based.
Polls Corps had his own 'Presbyterian' cross flag with SC units flying reversed colors with a palm tree.
The Hardee Corps flew the Haden cannonball white circle on a blue field.
The army of northern VA would adopt the naval ensign as its battle flag.
The Trans-Miss units flew a reverse naval ensign flag.

RudyNelson27 Sep 2017 3:05 p.m. PST

In regards to State flags, it was often up to the commanders if they were flown in addition to Corps flags.
In the Army of Tenn, many units in 1861-62 reported with hand made State or company flags often as first national design. These were kept in baggage but used in camp to mark unit camp sites.
As the war dragged on, fewer companies reported with unit flags as enthusiasm dropped.
One note about the Corps flags denoting commands. When the Army of NVa sent a division to Tenn, they got off the trains and rushed straight into battle. The morale boost of seeing reinforcements with different flags helped the CSA but demoralized some Union troops.

muggins Inactive Member27 Sep 2017 3:09 p.m. PST

That is a ton of different regiments, but I imagine by mid 1862 most looked like this, being ANV troops.


Bill N27 Sep 2017 3:40 p.m. PST

I hate to say this, but I suspect if you want a complete answer you are going to have to hit the books…literally. I am not aware of any comprehensive review of which Confederate units carried which flags for actions earlier than Gettysburg. A Google search might lead you to a few. For the rest you may have to mine regimental histories and memoirs.

The 47th Alabama, Taliaferro's brigade lost a First National style flag at Antietam that you can find through Google. It is possible the 48th Alabama carried one as well, as both regiments joined the ANV around the same time. That does not mean the Virginia regiments of Taliaferro's brigade would have carried that style flag.

donlowry27 Sep 2017 4:37 p.m. PST

The army of northern VA would adopt the naval ensign as its battle flag.

Wasn't that the other way around? The naval ensign was based on the ANV battle flag?

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2017 5:19 p.m. PST

"Featherstons/GB Anderson brigades, Lawton's GA Brigade, Taliaferro/Fulkerson's brigade, Campbell/Cunningham's Brigade, and finally Jackson's brigade along with new units added during this period."

All those I recognize were serving in Virginia in the period. If that's true for everyone, you can disregard the Western Flags, and I'm afraid even the most meticulous research is still going to leave you with a certain amount of guesswork.

Some regiments continued to carry the First National. Some regiments were Virginian and so MIGHT have had Virginia flags. Some would have had "homebrew" variants of what we think of as the ANV. But many regiments and companies carried flags presented by their home communities, and didn't necessarily correspond to any of our accepted patterns. I suspect many or most of the units you mention carried two different flags and some may have carried three different flags over that period.

Because we want to know something doesn't mean the information is available.

Didn't we do this a few months ago anyway?

marshalGreg28 Sep 2017 9:29 a.m. PST

Thanks guys!
@ RP – to some degree yes. That is how I was able to determine the most likely state flags present.
Since then, I have narrowed it down( upon success in getting info for most of my units I plan to do).
The blanks are to ones in the Post. I suspect 1st national was prevalent or variants of CO flags used, when no other flag was possible.
If I can determine when a state flag was used instead of a national at this time is the "needle in the hay-stake" I hope to determine here.
I was hoping some leads to these facts (that I have not been able to find yet).
Info like that from BillN on the 48th Va etc is good stuff and helps me figure out how best to proceed brigade by brigade.


marshalGreg28 Sep 2017 1:44 p.m. PST

@ muggins
That flag is the 2nd bunting.
Per my research it was not presented until Sept 1862.
SO what was the 4th NC and the 14th and the 2nd carrying up to that point is my issue for that brigade of Andersons and the 20th from Garlands.
With the new prospective created by some of the reponses and my new research, I have a plan as…
2& 4th special state issue.
The 14th: the blue variant: link

The 30th: the later state issue ( type known to have been captured at Antetium ie. 33RD'S STATE FLAG)


Ryan T28 Sep 2017 8:21 p.m. PST

Here is what I have found in my notes. Jackson's Division, unlike most of the rest of the Army of Northern Virginia, was limited in the ANV pattern battle flags it received.

The only known flags for the Stonewall Brigade during the Valley Campaign were those of the 2nd Virginia – a blue Virginia state flag and the 5th Virginia – a blue flag with the Virginia state seal set in a large white star. The entire brigade was then issued 2nd Bunting ANV battle flags in June of 1862

Of the 2nd Brigade (Campbell, etc.) only the flag of the 21st Virginia can be determined. It was a First National with 7 white stars in the canton surrounding a large centre white star.

Several flags can be identified from the 3rd Brigade (Taliaferro, etc.). The 10th Virginia is known to have carried a Virginia state flag for much of the war. It also was issued a Silk Issue battle flag in late 1861 as well as obtaining a 1st Bunting ANV battle flag in late May 1862. At some point it also acquired two homemade rectangular St. Andrews cross flags with 4-pointed stars. The 37th Virginia possibly carried a First National which had originally been presented to its "D" Company. The 47th and 48th Alabama were added to the Brigade in the summer of 1862. The first of these regiments had a First National.

Lawton's Georgia Brigade was added to the division in June. The 13th Georgia continued to carry the flag presented to it when it was first created but the exact pattern is unknown. The 38th Georgia had a non-standard silk ANV battle flag made of silk with an orange border (This flag has previously been attributed to the 31st Georgia.) The 61st Georgia is known to have carried a First National.

Anderson's Brigade only came into being in June of 1862. The 2nd North Carolina already had a state flag in its possession which it may have continued to use as its only flag. The 4th North Carolina was issued a 2nd Bunting ANV battle flag in June 1862. This flag had the battle honours "WILLIAMSBURG" and "SEVEN PINES!" on white strips of cloth sewn on the upper and lower quadrants of the obverse side of the flag. The 14th North Carolina was presented with a 1st Bunting ANV battle flag in June of 1862. This flag had similar battle honours to those on the 4th North Carolina, but these were applied in a single white cloth patch in the centre of the flag. The 14th North Carolina (formerly the 4th North Carolina Volunteers) also may have also carried a blue flag with the state seal on the reverse side of the flag and the unit designation "4TH REGIMENT OF / NORTH CAROLINA VOLUNTEERS" on the reverse. The 30th North Carolina is known to have been issued a state flag in in late 1861. I have been unable to establish exactly when the regiment arrived in Virginia although it was before the Seven Days Battle. The regiment should have been issued an ANV battle flag at this time.

Also note that I think you have the dates askew for when the various patterns of bunting battle flags were issued. The 1st Bunting was issued in April and May of 1862 and in June was followed by the 2nd Bunting Issue. The issuance of the 3rd Bunting pattern began in July of 1862.

TKindred Supporting Member of TMP28 Sep 2017 10:16 p.m. PST

Two points: When Lee took command of the ANV he ordered that only the battle flag could be flown by regiments in the field.

Pretty much all the basic research on CS flags is to be found here. The folks who started and maintain this site at the following link are some of the best in the business.


Ryan T29 Sep 2017 5:57 a.m. PST

For the most part only the battle flag was carried. The primary exception was Jackson's old division. It never received a battle flag issue until the entire division was provided with 3rd Bunting flags in August 1863. These flags were marked with both unit designations and battle honours, including Gettysburg.

marshalGreg29 Sep 2017 7:59 a.m. PST

Guys Thank you for these additional leads and conclusions!
My position for my June 1862 army ( upon reorganization after Williamsburg campaign) is that with 2nd bunting, not starting until June,- that None of my units will have that yet (with at best late June issues to troops starting, per normal Mfg and administrative channels in play).
-research indicated July for Magruder's command of 7 days campaign units as the earliest and DH Hill's in Sept62.
So a big question is the 1st Bunting and which units- per TKinderd link- first issues are May to Longstreet's command( confirm AP Hill, Pickett and Pryor's Brigades)
I have evidence that 1&3NC + 14th NC received 1st bunting.
3rd AL and 14th LA received 1st Bunting
@ Ryan T- thankyou!
Jackson DIV
My notes agree with your's, except I believe 2nd bunting will not show till later, so I do not have 2nd bunting.
Q: So the other units of this DIV are with National or a state? How to confirm?
Ewells' DIV
Etzey's Brigade Cotton for the 12GA,25th Va, 44th VA, 52nd Va & 58th VA? and 13th Va Q: State or Cotton?
Trimble Brigade Silk 2nd issue
Taylors Brigade- Silk (1st or 2nd?)

DH Hill
Rhodes brigade- 3rd 1st bunting, 5,6& 12 AL silk ( Early's brig received silks 1861) 26th AL Q: ?
Anderson brig 2nd & 4th state, 14th 1st bunting, 30th Q: state?
Garland brig- 5th-State (since silk lost at Williamburg)
12th Silk, 13th 1st bunting, 20th-there is no state for this one and joined in June- Q: so a variant? 23rd silk as 5th's.
Colquitt's Brig- Q:?
Ripley's brig 44th & 48th Ga new units Q:? 1& 3rd NC 1st bunting.

So a few gaps still to determine as "most likely"


Bill N29 Sep 2017 12:29 p.m. PST

Lee ordered it, but the number of nonANV battle flags that crop up over the following few months indicate his order was not always obeyed.

Ryan T01 Oct 2017 2:45 p.m. PST

Don't forget to add in the Magruder flags. According to link 6 such flags were initially issued on 18 April and at least 17 more were handed out later in April. The flags of this pattern in D H Hill's Division were replaced by 2nd Buntings in June (not September) 1862.

It is interesting to note that the 32nd Virginia and 53rd Georgia, both of which were assigned to Semmes' Brigade after the Battle of Seven Pines, continued to carry a flag of this pattern until Sharpsburg.It would appear that these two units became part of Magruders's command after the 2nd Bunting flags were issued and so had to do with the older Magruder pattern. As both regiments were present for the Seven Days this would indicate the 2nd Bunting battle flags were issued to Magruder in June.

The following is a list of the regiments that were present at Centerville Va. on 14 January 1862 (OR Vol 5 pp 1029-1032). I believe all of these units would have received a Silk Issue battle flag in late November / early December 1861. The units which can be confirmed as being issued such a battle flag are indicated thus *.

Potomac District Beauregard

1st Division Van Dorn
Bonham's Brig 2, 3, 7*, 8 SC
Early's Brig 20 Ga, 5*, 23 NC, 24 Va
Rodes' Brig 5, 6, 12 Ala, 12 Miss

2nd Division G W Smith
--- Brig 7, 8, 9, 11 Ga
Wilcox's Brig 9, 10, 11 Ala, 19 Miss, 38 Va
Toomb's Brig 1 (Reg), 2, 15, 17 Ga

3rd Division Longstreet
Ewell's Brig 1*, 7, 11, 17* Va
D R Jones' Brig 4*, 5*, 6*, 9 SC
--- Brig 8, 18, 19, 28* Va

4th Division Kirby Smith
Elzey's Brig 1 Md, 3 Tn, 13, 16 Va
Trimble's Brig 15* Ala, 21* Ga, 16* Miss, 21 NC
Taylor's Brig 1 Special Bn, 6*, 7, 8, 9 La

Stuart's Cavalry Brig 1 NC Cav, 6*, 7, 8, 9 Va Cav, Jeff Davis Lgn

Manassas Garrison 27, 28 Ga, 4 NC, 49 Va

Last of all, the following regiments can be confirmed as having carried a 1st Bunting battle flag: 8th Ala, 48th Ga,14th La, Coppen's La Zouaves, 1st NC, 3rd NC, 14th NC, 10th Va, 17th Va .

marshalGreg02 Oct 2017 11:37 a.m. PST

@ Ryan T
Great Information-thanks
I am not sure if I follow this logic- can you clarify?

"It is interesting to note that the 32nd Virginia and 53rd Georgia, both of which were assigned to Semmes' Brigade after the Battle of Seven Pines, continued to carry a flag of this pattern until Sharpsburg.It would appear that these two units became part of Magruders's command after the 2nd Bunting flags were issued and so had to do with the older Magruder pattern. As both regiments were present for the Seven Days this would indicate the 2nd Bunting battle flags were issued to Magruder in June."


Ryan T02 Oct 2017 2:33 p.m. PST

Sorry for not being too clear. This issue really deals with when the 2nd Bunting flags were issued.

Several existing 2nd Buntings point to a June issuance. The 38th North Carolina (Pender's Brigade, A P Hill's Division) 2nd Bunting now in the NC State Museum collection is claimed to have almost been captured at Mechanicville on 25 June. The 11th Alabama (Wilcox's Brigade, Longstreet's Division) 2nd Bunting was captured at Glendale on 30 June,1862. In the same engagement the 19th Mississippi (Featherston's Brigade, Longstreet's Division) also lost a 2nd Bunting to the 61st NY.

The 32nd Virginia and 53rd Georgia both only became part of Maguder's command, specifically Semmes Brigade, after the Battle of Seven Pines (31 May 1 June) The 32nd Virginia had been reformed in May while the 53rd Georgia completed its organization in early May before being sent north to Virginia.

Of the Magruder pattern flags only these two regiments are known to have carried this pattern late into the summer of 1862. From this I have presumed they arrived after the rest of Magruder's command, or at least those regiments that did not yet have an earlier ANV pattern flag, had already been issued with 2nd Bunting battle flags. Thus as the supply of the 2nd Buntings flags allocated or issued to Maguder's units was exhausted these two regiments were instead each given one of the remaining unissued Magruder pattern flags.

This lends support to the claim that the 2nd Buntings were issued in June prior to the Seven Days Battles.

marshalGreg03 Oct 2017 5:17 a.m. PST

@Ryan T- I see this now-very good and thanks
Question now becomes which other units received the 2nd early in June62. Not sure if that will be easy to define.
This impacts Jackson's brigade's, plus some of the Ga units that joined late to his command ( 44 & 48th),which may still be flying 1st nationals at this point in time or had received 2nd buntings.


Ryan T03 Oct 2017 8:52 a.m. PST

Yes, figuring out who got the 2nd Buntings is the big problem. You have picked probably the most confused period of flag usage in the ANV.

Here is one methodology. Start with the Centerville list. Assume all these regiments were issued Silk Pattern flags. Then go to the OB for Longstreet's command in May (Seven Pines) and assume all the units not on the Centerville list were provided with 1st Buntings. Then overlay 2nd Buntings on any regimental additions to Longstreet, as well as most of D H Hill, A P Hill, and Magruder to get a picture of flags just prior to Seven Days. New units that were added after Seven Days (or lost their flags) then received new 3rd Buntings.

The one exception is Jackson's old division under Winder. Apart from an issuance of 2nd Buntings to the Stonewall Brigade (most probably in June) Winder's Division did not get any ANV pattern flags until after Gettysburg in August 1863.

Ewell and Whiting did obtain some new ANV pattern flags, but these are all post-Seven Days.

marshalGreg04 Oct 2017 1:50 p.m. PST

Thanks Ryan T! This has taken my zig-zag approach to this means and has launched it to light speed to get to this point!
It has filled many gaps!
So from your direction I have for Jackson's command at start of Seven days-see below
There are still a few gaps with no direction (?).

Whiting's DIV
Brig Hood
18th GA, 1TX, 4th TX- Cotton
5th TX- cotton + 1st Nat var ( spec silk sent back to TX)
Brig Law
4th Al, 2nd Miss, 11th Miss. , 6th NC-Silk

Jackson's DIV
Brig Winder
2nd VA-4th Va, 5th Va, 27th Va, 33rd Va-1st Nat/State
Brig Cunnignham ( Taliaferro)
21st VA, 42nd Va, 48th Va, 1st VA Btn-?
Brig Fulkerson
10th Va- 1st bunting( confirmed)
23rd Va-1st Bunting?
37th Va- 1st bunting?
47th Va- ?(Smith/Pettigrew)
48th Va-?(DH Hill/Wise)
Brig Lawton
13th Ga-( new)?possible Ga District silk( see silk of 31st Ga)
26th GA-( Ga District silk( see silk of 31st Ga))
31st GA- (Ga District silk)
38th GA- (Ga District silk( see silk of 31st Ga)
60th GA, 61st GA-?

Ewell's DIV
Brig Etzey
12th GA, 13th Va, 25th Va, 31sth Va- cotton(confirmed)
44th VA, 52nd Va, 58th Va-?from Stuarts
Brig Trimble
15th Al, 21st Ga, 16th Miss, 21st Nc-Silk
1st NC SS-?
Brig Taylor
6, 7, 8, 9, 1st Zouave La-Silk

DH Hill's DIV
Brig Rhodes
3rd Al-1st Bunting
5th, 6th, 12th, 26th AL-Silk
Brig Anderson
2nd NC-Statev1 ( 2nd Bunting?), 4th NC -Silk ( 2nd bunting conf), 14th NC -1st Bunting, 30th NC-Statev2 (2nd Bunting?)
Brig Garland
5th NC-Statev1(silk lost may62), 12th NC-silk, 13th NC 1st bunting, 20th NC-Variant ( 2nd bunting?), 23rd NC-silk
Brig Colquitt
13th Al-(Rains)Silk( 2nd Bunting confirmed), 6th GA, 23rd GA-(Rains)2nd bunting?, 27th GA, 28th GA- Silk
Brig Ripley
44th GA, 48th GA-?( 3rd Bunting)
1st NC, 3rd NC 1st bunting confirmed

Ryan T04 Oct 2017 7:55 p.m. PST

Here is my assessment of what I think would provide the best distribution of flags just prior to the Seven Days battles. The big unknown is Lawton's Brigade, but here my best guess would be First Nationals. If you want to e-mail me at (substitute @ for AT) I'll send you some images of the non-standard flags.

Jackson's Division

Winder's Brigade
2nd Va Blue State
4th Va First National or State
5th Va Blue flag with white star, state seal in star
27th Va Blue State
33rd Va First National or State

Cunningham's Brigade
21st Va First National
42nd Va probably First National
48th Va probably First National
1st Va Bn probably First National

Fulkerson's Brigade
10th Va State flag
23rd Va probably First National
37th Va First National

Lawton's Brigade
13th Ga probably First National
26th Ga ?
31st Ga ?
38th Ga ANV pattern presentation flag (previously miss-IDed as 31st Ga)
60th Ga ?
61st Ga ?

Ewell's Division

Elzey's Brigade
12th Ga Cotton
13th Va ANV pattern presentation flag (12 stars, white border)
25th Va Cotton
31st Va Cotton
44th Va, Cotton
52nd Va, Cotton
58th Va Cotton

Trimble's Brigade
15th Ala, 21st Ga, 16th Miss, 21st NC Silk (white stars, yellow border)
1st NC SS only two companies so very likely no flag

Taylor's Brigade
6, 7, 8, 9, 1st Special Bn La Silk (white stars, yellow border)

Maryland Line 1st Md Silk (white stars, yellow border), also carried Md State flag

Whiting's Division

Hood's Brigade
18th Ga Cotton
1st Tx Cotton, also carried a Texas State flag
4th Tx, 5th Tx ANV pattern presentation flag (13 stars with large star in the centre, yellow border)
Hampton's Lgn probably Cotton, also SC State flag (obverse had solferino field with silver palmetto and crescent, reverse blue field with wreath surrounding unit designation)

Law's Brigade
4th Ala, 2nd Miss, 11th Miss , 6th NC Silk (white stars, yellow border)

D H Hill's Division

Rodes' Brigade
3rd Ala 1st Bunting
5th, 6th, 12th Silk
26th Ala probably 2nd Bunting

Anderson's Brigade
2nd NC 2nd Bunting and/or State v1
4th NC 2nd Bunting and/or State v1
14th NC 1st Bunting
30th NC 2nd Bunting and possibly State v2

Garland's Brigade
5th NC 2nd Bunting (Silk lost May 62) and possibly State v1
12th NC possibly 2nd Bunting and/or State v1
13th NC 1st Bunting
20th NC probably 2nd Bunting
23rd NC Silk

Colquitt's Brigade
13th Ala 2nd Bunting
6th Ga, 23rd Ga 2nd Bunting
27th Ga, 28th Ga Silk

Ripley's Brigade
44th Ga, 48th Ga probably 2nd Bunting
1st NC, 3rd NC 1st Bunting

marshalGreg05 Oct 2017 11:16 a.m. PST

Ryan T
I sent a E-mail to you.


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