When Walton County officials voted to remove a Confederate battle flag that flew near the courthouse, it was not quite the victory for which local activists had hoped. Some residents of the Florida county complained that the flag chosen to replace the outgoing banner was equally – if not more – offensive.
County commissioners voted unanimously to raise the first Confederate States of America flag, using a design with seven stars as a temporary placeholder until they can obtain one with the preferred 13-star layout.
Apparently, the commission voted to replace the stars and bars with this, at least temporarily:
Disclaimer: I am only a Yankee living in the South. I am very familiar with this courthouse.
The commission has a valid argument, that the flag is a part of historical expression. But its also worth noting that it was only erected after 1964 — the year President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. Expression indeed.
I think its a compromise. And a message to many opponents on this flag issue – that those who can don’t have to re-write history to salve the tender feelings of the left or of those who claim minority and victim status.
First national flag (“the Stars and Bars”)
The first official flag of the Confederacy, called the “Stars and Bars,” was flown from March 5, 1861, to May 26, 1863.
The very first national flag of the Confederacy was designed by Prussian artist Nicola Marschall in Marion, Alabama. The Stars and Bars flag was adopted March 4, 1861 in Montgomery, Alabama and raised over the dome of that first Confederate Capitol. Marschall also designed the Confederate uniform.
One of the first acts of the Provisional Confederate Congress was to create the Committee on the Flag and Seal, chaired by William Porcher Miles of South Carolina. The committee asked the public to submit thoughts and ideas on the topic and was, as historian John M. Coski puts it, “overwhelmed by requests not to abandon the ‘old flag’ of the United States.” Miles had already designed a flag that would later become the Confederate battle flag, and he favored his flag over the “Stars and Bars” proposal. But given the popular support for a flag similar to the U.S. flag (“the Stars and Stripes”), the Stars and Bars design was approved by the committee. When war broke out, the Stars and Bars caused confusion on the battlefield because of its similarity to the U.S. flag of the U.S. Army.
Eventually, a total of thirteen stars would be shown on the flag, reflecting the Confederacy’s claims to have admitted Kentucky and Missouri into their union. The first public appearance of the 13-star flag was outside the Ben Johnson House in Bardstown, Kentucky. The 13-star design was also used as the basis of a naval ensign.