"Stars and Bars"

On March 4, 1861, the Confederate States of America adopted its first national flag, often referred to as the "Stars and Bars." The design and layout of this first flag was very different from the more familiar "Stainless Banner," which is most commonly recognized as the Confederate flag today. "Stars and Bars" originally featured a blue field in the upper left (much like today's American flag), surmounted by a circle of seven white stars. "Stars and Bars," also in a similar pattern to today's American flag, featured two large red stripes, with a large white stripe in the middle. Eventually, on May 1, 1863, the more familiar "Stainless Banner" was adopted. The "Stainless Banner" is the flag that has been under attack for the past several years, with critics decrying it as being a symbol for racism. Interestingly, "Stars and Bars" has rarely (if ever) been targeted by the iconoclasts. Unfortunately, as noted by some Civil War historians, the "Stainless Banner," as well as "Stars and Bars" were first used by a society that felt marginalized by the Union. In recent decades, these flags (the "Stainless Banner" in particular) have been commandeered by hate groups, which regrettably causes some people to misidentify them as a hate symbol.