A Brief History of American Civil War Flags

For anyone who is interested in American history, the Civil War is a subject of much fascination.  One can learn a lot about the American Civil War itself just by studying the many versions of the American flag that were used during the Civil War timeframe.

Click read more for some historical highlights of how specific events changed the face of the Civil War flags.

• 33-Star Flag:  Between 1859 and 1861, the 33-star flag was the official flag of the United States, but this was right around the time that many southern states seceded from the Union.  It was this flag that was first shot upon by Confederate forces.
• 34-Star Flag: This flag was the official flag between 1861 and 1863, after the admittance of Kansas into the Union.  Even though several southern states were in rebellion, the removal of these states from the flag would have been a sign of defeat.  This is why the U.S. government chose to keep the stars on the flag.
• 35-Star Flag: one of the most important flags in American history, the 35-star Civil War flag was used between 1863 and 1865 as a result of West Virginia becoming a state. The reason this is so important is that up until then, Virginia had planned to secede.  It wasn’t until the residents of Virginia’s mountainous regions took action against this and planned to create a new state called Kanawha. The division this caused in Virginia turned the state into a battleground, eventually resulting in the formation of a new state – West Virginia.
• 36-Star Flag:  Towards the end of the Civil War, Nevada was admitted as a state, resulting in the addition of another star to the American Civil War flag. While not nearly as dramatic as what happened with West Virginia, it was a momentous event nonetheless.

Of course, these are not the only flags that appeared during the Civil War years.  There were rebel flags, cavalry flags, confederacy flags, union flags, guidon flags and individual state flags.  Collectors of American Civil War flags are often looking for a very specific flag to add to their collection.  Click to shop the large Confederate flag selection in the Flagpro.com  online store.

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