American Civil War in the News is a edited review of American Civil War related news and articles, providing collection of hand-picked 1861-1865 era history.

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Civil War Flags: Confederate, Rebel & Battle

Latest hand-picked Civil War news and articles.

Donations pay restoration of 2 civil war flags, while hundreds are falling to pieces at the Ohio Historical Society
Thanks to private donations 2 Ohio civil war flags will be restored, but hundreds are falling to pieces at the Ohio Historical Society because of lack of funds. The small "flank" flag from the 5th U.S. Colored Infantry, the first black troops in Ohio, and the regimental colors of the 4th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, a Cincinnati unit that took part in many major battles, will make a trip to Textile Preservation Associates of Ransom, W.Va. The flag restoration process will include: a bath in distilled water, drying and encapsulation between layers of a see-through fabric, and sewing the edges will be sewn closed.

VFW Post 1503 discovers rare Civil War-era flag
On Sept. 5, a small group of VFW Post 1503 members gathered to retire 215 torn and discarded U.S. flags collected over the summer. Flag collection and retirement ceremonies are carried out throughout the year as just one of many services the VFW performs. While going through the flags before the ceremony, Ed Tatum stopped, not believing what he had just taken out from a collection box. This flag was different: white stripes were faded yellow, it had been patched or repaired with stitches 17 times, and it only had 35 stars. This type of U.S. flag was only flown 1863-1865

Where are the missing Civil War flags - Mystery of lost union flags   (Article no longer available from the original source)
As the Tennessee State Museum curators collected data on historic battle flags for a book "Volunteer Banners: The Civil War Flags of Tennessee" a mystery unfolded: Where are the banners of the Tennessee Union troops? At the start of the civil war Tennessee was divided, most in East Tennessee were against the Confederacy, and joined regiments to preserve the Union. "Only 8 Union regimental flags out of the 60-70 believed to have been in existence during the war have been located. As there is no known record of Union flags being destroyed by post-war Confederate sympathizers, there is the possibility that the flags were hidden."

Black Man Proud Of Confederate Flag - H.K. Edgerton   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Many heads turned in Ringgold when they saw African-American H.K. Edgerton dressed in a Confederate soldier's uniform, carrying a Confederate flag. He opposes city leader's removing the Confederate flag from the city's flag pole. Edgerton says the Confederate flag is misunderstood, feared and hated because people are trying to be politically correct - which he says violates the honor and real meaning of the Civil War era emblem. Edgerton is marching against that cultural genocide, as he calls it. "it's history, part of history and it don't need to be swept under the rug."

Owner says that stain in Civil War flag is the blood of his fallen ancestor
Paul Dye never mistrusted that the stain on the old battle flag was the blood of his ancestor William D. Whitehead, shot down as he carried the banner into combat in Virginia. Now Dye is about to sell the heirloom: one of the rarest Civil War flags in Georgia. There's only one problem: "It's a great artifact, but there's no way it could have gone into all the battles they claim it went into," claims military historian Greg Biggs, experct on Confederate flags. Dye vows: "If anyone has questions, I'll do a DNA test." There's more than honor at risk as Civil War collectibles can fetch top prices: A flag of General J.E.B. Stuart was sold for $956,000.

Confederate flag: Heritage or hate - Confederate battle flag is a divisive symbol
The Confederate Flag is one of the most argued icons of American culture. Why people feel so strongly about the emblem of an entity that died over 130 years ago? Problem is that symbols have no one-real meaning: varying according to whatever the user attaches to them. Many Americans lack the interest to learn the realities of American History. This is why so many lies have been permitted to be taught as the truth. This has in turn caused many people to free themselves from opinions different than their own. Ever since the South was invaded by Federal troops, Southerners and their Heritage have been under the assault of those trying to "clean up" our culture.

History 101: Confederate flags
I have a Confederate Flag hanging in my office. The flag I use is the First National Flag of the Confederacy. Most people assume it is an "old" version of the American flag. In fact, it was modeled after Old Glory because the Confederates were just trying to form a separate country, like Washington had done 80 years earlier. The problem with the flag was that in the smoke created by the muzzle-loading muskets it was often mistaken for the American flag. There are recorded incidents of friendly fire on both sides. The military acted quickly: the CSA military began to use the "Battle Flag" - often referred to as the Stars and Bars, but that is incorrect.

Group leads effort to restore Civil War-era Union flag   (Article no longer available from the original source)
After surviving Civil War battles 1861-1865 a silk U.S. flag now is in a fight again - to keep from withering away. The flag, carried by a Union regiment, currently is framed and displayed at the Mower County Historical Society at the fairgrounds in Austin. The historical society is trying to raise money to conserve the flag in its present condition. With new technology for preserving old flags, the historical society thought it'd be good to get that kind of work for its flag to prevent further deterioration. Preservation work by a textile conservator is labor intensive, with cost $8,000-$10,000.

Flags' ownership: Historical Society vs Civil War buffs, National Guard
A flag dispute has pitted Civil War buffs and Ohio Army National Guard officials against the Ashtabula County Historical Society over relinquishing 3 historic flags to government officials. The flags have been in the commissioners' possession since 1994, when they were given to the Ashtabula County Historical Society for safekeeping when the armory closed. "The historical society really had no proper place or museum to place the flags in. So they ended up in the commissioners-office section in the Old Courthouse. ... They should really be on display in the large commissioners chambers but are tucked back in a hallway."

Blood-stained Lincoln flag goes on loan   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Onlookers gathered at the Columns Museum of the Pike County Historical Society in Milford, Pa. as the blood-stained "Lincoln Flag" was ceremoniously removed from the museum to begin its 2-hour trek to the Leigh Valley Heritage Museum in Allentown, Pa. The 36-star American flag was used to cushion Abraham Lincoln's head after he was fatally wounded by an assassin's bullet April 14, 1865. The flag is being loaned to the museum for 1 week and will join other Lincoln artifacts and memorabilia on display as part of the Lehigh Valley museum's "Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America" exhibit.

Man keeping his confederate battle flag flying - Stolen 8 times   (Article no longer available from the original source)
It's one of the most divisive emblems in American history, yet John Buckner is proud to hang it outside of his house, even if it means buying a new one every other month. The emblem: A Confederate battle flag. Buckner said he's had the flag stolen from his house 8 times since Feb 2006 and that police aren't doing enough to catch the culprits. The flag - a starred blue diagonal cross of St. Andrew on a red background that was once the flag of the Army of Northern Virginia - has different meanings to different people. To Buckner, it represents Southern pride. To others, it represents evil.

Civil War battle flags fading with age - bullet holes and bloodstains
More than 140 years after the final shot was fired and the last drop of blood spilled, the smell of gunpowder lingers on Civil War battle flags. The Ohio Historical Society have 552 flags from 6 wars stored. Men vied for the right to carry the flags and died to save them. Now, some might be lost forever because of a shortage of preservation funds. While battle flags lost meaning in modern warfare, they were important symbolically and practically in prior wars. Flag bearers, carrying regimental and national colors, led a unit into battle, showed the location of the field commander and served as a rallying point for soldiers in the unit.

25th Indiana Volunteer Regiment battle flag is back [pdf]
A Civil War battle flag stolen 20 years ago was returned to the Indiana World War Memorial, thanks to the keen eye of an auctioneer and FBI agents who track down stolen relics. The flag of the 25th Indiana Volunteer Regiment disappeared from the memorial 1985 and had hung in a bank lobby in Fremont, Ind., since 2000. It was rediscovered after the bank went out of business. The regiment's flag, worth $60,000, was hoisted high as Hoosier blood spilled in Civil War battles at Shiloh, Vicksburg and Atlanta. After the civil war, it became federal property and ended up in the war memorial, stored with other flags.

Discovering rare Civil War artifacts is nothing new for Wes Cowan   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Discovering the rarest of Civil War artifacts is nothing new for Wes Cowan. It is, after all, what he does for a living, as an owner of a Cincinnati auction house that specializes in historic Americana. But what he saw hanging on the ceiling of a bank in Fremont, Ind., stunned even him. An original Civil War regimental battle flag from the 25th Indiana Volunteer Regiment. A flag that should not have been there because, since the end of the Civil War, it has been the property of the state of Indiana. "It was stunning; it was in very good condition."

Speaker shares flags of confederacy with Lions   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Flags are symbols that conjure up feelings, whether it's the Stars and Stripes or the Confederate Battle Flag, says history professor Mike Daniel. In honor of General Robert E. Lee's 200th birthday, he presented "The Flags of the Confederacy" slide show to the Greenville Lions. He shared some little-known facts and emblems. "One of the early flags used by the Confederacy was the Bonnie Blue, a simple blue flag with a single white star in the center." Another little-known flag from the Confederacy was an Alabama flag briefly adopted after the state seceded from the Union. The "Republic of Alabama" flag is unusual in that it featured a design on both sides.

Historical Society figures cost of protecting Union victory flag
Whenever the Union won a victory in the Civil War, Martha Everett would go to the attic and grab the big flag that she and her friends had stitched together, attaching it to a line that ran above Farm Street. "How proudly I climbed the attic stairs and swung out the flag," she recalled in 1903. The Everett Civil War flag was displayed for the first time in more than a century but has been placed back in safekeeping until funds can be raised for its conservation. The 6-by-12-foot flag, flown to celebrate Union victories from Shiloh through Appomattox, was shown last month during a Holiday House Tour.

Battle flag carried by Confederate Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart sells for $956,000   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The battle flag once carried by Confederate Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart netted a Texas-based auction house nearly $1 million following the flag's sale in Nashville, Tenn. The hand-sewn flag -- which was sold to a private collector in 2000 by Stuart Hall -- brought $956,000 as collectors battled it out for the unique Civil War relic. The final selling price more than tripled the asking price of $312,500.

Historic, Valuable Civil War Flags, Artifacts in Auction
Four rare, valuable flags from Tennessee regiments are among the historic items that will be offered in one of the largest auctions ever conducted of significant Civil War artifacts. The auction also could mean that a famous Virginia General's personal battle flag soon may be owned for the first time by someone outside Virginia. The auction of flags, swords, uniforms, documents and more than 500 other important 1860's Civil War items will be conducted in Nashville and online by Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas, Dec 1 and 2, 2006.

War Museum gets Civil War-era 34-star flag
As Gary Simpkins talks about the latest addition to his war museum, a 145-year-old American flag, the pride in his voice is evident. The 34-star flag was adopted in 1861 after Kansas was admitted to the Union in January. While Simpkins can`t recount the history of his particular flag, the 34-star flag was significant in many ways. "Slavery was still legal when this flag came into being. It was still our flag through the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address. After the south seceded from the Union, President Lincoln refused to allow any of the stars to be removed from it."

History professor explains tale of Confederate flag   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Professor Gaines Foster gave a presentation on the history of the Confederate flag. He said there are three ways to view any flag: through history, through memory and in the present. He described history as the actual historical context of a flag, whereas memory is a contemporary, idealized representation of what the flag stands for. He said flags are particularly potent historical symbols, which may be a reason the Confederate flag is still so hotly debated. "The whole purpose of a flag is to rally people."

400 Civil War flags - Stained by blood, ripped by bullets   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Stained by blood and ripped by bullets the 400 Civil War flags gave mute testimony to the violence of combat during the Pennsylvania Civil War Trails Project's Discovery Weekend. From 1911 to 1981, the flags were kept in six bronze and glass flag cases. Then they were moved and restored. When the fragile silken flags were unfurled, many were found to have blood stains, bullet holes, cannon damage and square holes made by vets who cut out pieces of the flags as souvenirs. The flags, some so brittle they were barely recognizable and others glowing with vivid colors, are a state treasure.

Flag from the bloodiest single day of warfare in US history
A deteriorating treasure from the bloodiest single day of warfare in American history is the focus of a fundraising effort by the Athol Historical Society. They plan to preserve a 32-star flag from the Battle of Antietam. The flag was carried in battle by the 9th Regiment of New Hampshire Volunteers. The flag was tattered and torn during the fierce battle on Sept. 17, 1862, when 26,000 men were killed, wounded or missing in one day. Some of the damage to the flag was repaired on the battlefield after the fighting.

Confederate flags on space station for sale - for a moment
Confederate flags flown aboard the international space station and seemingly signed by a NASA astronaut showed up last week on the online auction site eBay. The original eBay listing indicated that the 4-by-6-inch flags were brought aboard the space station by Russian cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov in 2004.

Rediscovered Artifact: Civil War enthusiasts and tattered flag   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Rob Swinson believes he has found a Civil War treasure. It's a regimental Confederate Civil War flag that flew in the western theater of the war in five major battles. It fell at the Battle of Franklin, was taken as a souvenir by a 17-year-old Union soldier and spent 130 years stuffed in a cigar box. Swinson bought the flag at auction in 2002. He had no idea whether it was authentic. But he had a feeling. He paid $3,600 for something that most people would have thrown away. After learning who carried it and who fought under it, he's selling it for $160,000.

Museum acquires rare original Civil War flag   (Article no longer available from the original source)
A rare, original Civil War Virginia state flag recently acquired by Civil War Life--The Soldier's Museum will be unveiled to the public. The flag, acquired by the museum from a Chicago private collector, was once part of the Charles Gunther collection from the 1890s. The collection catalogue describes it as: "Virginia State flag carried by State troops, Confederate Army, at the battles in and around Richmond, Virginia." The 24- by 34-inch flag of faded blue cotton, which features the Virginia coat of arms, will be conserved and mounted for permanent display.

Civil War uniforms and flags on display   (Article no longer available from the original source)
In the Civil War, the most colorful soldiers on the battlefield didn't wear blue or gray. The volunteer units known as the Zouaves fought for the Union, and many of the regiments hailed from New York. Some of their eye-catching uniforms and the flags they carried into battle are on display at the Capitol in Albany and the New York State Military Museum. Thousands of New Yorkers joined Zouave units, attracted by their flamboyant uniforms consisting of red baggy trousers, blue jackets and red tasseled fezzes. The Americans copied the style from French military units that had adopted the uniforms from Algerian tribes they defeated in the mid-1800s.