31390 Confederate Army of Northern Virginia Flag at Rest

W. Britains

In the era of black powder weapons, the smoke on the battlefield made identification between friend and foe very difficult. In some cases, the Stars and Bars so resembled the U.S. flag that troops fired on friends. This was corrected in late 1861 when a new C.S.A. battle flag was designed. Beginning in July 1862, the Richmond Depot issued the largest numbers of the Army of Northern Virginia flags. This version of the flag was 48" square and was bound on three edges with white tape. By 1863 the supply of the new 3rd bunting issue battle flag sufficient to re-equip entire divisions. Although Pickett’s Division would receive their new flags only marked with white painted unit designations on their red quadrants, most of the divisional issues had their battle honors painted in dark blue lettering in chronological order on their red quadrants, starting with the top, then the staff, then the fly, and finally the lower quadrant. A unit abbreviation was added in yellow paint to the blue cross, surrounding the center star.

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