First Confederate National Flag

Physical Description
Blue cloth with a circle of eight stars, two wide red stripes and one wide white stripe.
General History
The Confederate States of America’s first national flag was known as the “Stars & Bars.” This flag flew from 1861 to 1863. Each of the eight stars represented a Confederate state in March 1861 when the flag was adopted. The similarity of the design of the Confederate flag and the Union “Stars and Stripes” made it difficult to distinguish between the two in the heat of battle, most notably during the First Battle of Bull Run (known to Confederates as First Manassas). This resulted in troops firing on their own men—or “friendly fire”—and in the capture of a number of prisoners of war.
Physical Description
wool (overall material)
overall: 36 in x 57 1/2 in; 91.44 cm x 146.05 cm
overall: 35 1/2 in x 58 in; 90.17 cm x 147.32 cm
ID Number
AF.42724 [dup1]
catalog number
accession number
related event
Civil War
Civil War and Reconstruction
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Military
"The Price of Freedom: Americans at War"
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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