Confederate Flag during the Civil War
Today, the Confederate Flag is seen with a great deal of controversy. However, when it came into existence it was a representation of a new beginning for a divided nation. Let’s take a look and see how it came to be formed. The American Civil War was a war that was fought in the United States of America from 1861 to 1865. The war was fought between the Union, which was comprised of the northern states who were antislavery, and the Confederacy, which represented the thirteen southern states who were pro-slavery. The United States of America became a nation divided. The cause of the American Civil War was slated centrally in slavery. The roots began with escalating tensions in the political world stemming from the Republican Party being determined to stop any the spread of slavery to any new territories. The great hope of the Republican Party was that by containing slavery, this would stop the expansion of it to new areas and put the United States on the road towards eliminating slavery. The southern slave-holding states felt that their livelihoods were being threatened because they relied so heavily on the labor of slaves to maintain their crops. The straw that broke the camels back was the 1860 Presidential election. The election was won by the Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln. He managed to win the election without carrying a single southern state. This was a red flag for the southern states because they felt they were losing representation. This lack of representation meant to them that this would restrain their ability to advance pro-slavery acts. Southern states, with Lincoln now in office, felt they only had one option and that was disunion.
The secession of the southern states led to the formation of the Confederate States of America. The Confederacy was comprised of eleven states: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. There weretwo additional states that were divided Kentucky and Missouri. The Confederate Flag was designed to acknowledge the existence of the new nation. The capital of the Confederate States of America was first located in Montgomery, AL then settled in Richmond, VA. In 1861, Jefferson Davis was elected President and Alexander Stephens Vice President of the Confederacy. They were the only people to hold this office during the Confederacy’s existence.
With the formation of the Confederate State, the new nation needed a flag that represented their independence. A flag is such an important symbol as it represents the values of that country. It needs to speak volumes but yet not be too complex in design. The Confederacy had many flag designs during its existence but the one most people know is the Confederate Battle Flag. This flag is referred to as the “Southern Cross” or the “Rebel Flag” and had thirteen stars in it. It was commonly carried by Confederate troops on the battlefield and it was carried proudly throughout the Civil War. The southern flag represented freedom, perseverance, justice, and patriotism to its citizens. Unfortunately, today the flag is seen by many with a great deal of negativity and controversy. The link of the flag to racism, slavery, and segregation has garnered much disapproval for its presence in today’s society. The flag to many southerns in particular is flown in remembrance of their ancestors and the phrase “heritage not hate” is spoken by its supporters.