After its first design in 1861, the Confederate flag changed several times in response to legibility problems on the battlefield. Today, some support it as a symbol of Southern heritage, while others oppose it as a symbol of racism and slavery.
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The “Stars and Bars” construct was used for the first time by the Confederate States of America on March 5, 1861. On the battlefield, however, its design was hard to distinguish from the Stars and Stripes of the Union. A different design was introduced specifically for the battlefield: the “Confederate battle flag,” also known as the “Southern Cross.”
The second official design used the battle flag in the corner of a white field. A problem with the design was the risk that, in slack wind, it might be mistaken for a white flag of surrender or truce.
A third solution was adopted to solve the white-flag problem: - A red bar was introduced at the end of the white field. But that didn’t last long. The Confederacy collapsed a couple of months after the new design was issued. The first official flag (1861-1863)
The second official flag of the Confederacy (1863-1865 )
The third official flag of the Confederacy (1865)
This rectangular version of the battle flag with a lighter blue cross was adopted as the Second Confederate Navy Jack (1863-1865).
What we know today as the “Confederate flag” is a 20th- century combination of the battle flag’s colors with the Second Navy Jack’s design. It is a symbol of cultural identity for some white southerners, but African American civil-rights groups say the flag represents the South’s willingness to fight a war in order to preserve slavery. From a Confederate Navy Jack to a controversial symbol
SOURCE: Civilwar.com, Encyclopaedia Britannica. GRAPHIC: The Washington Post. Published June 21, 2015.