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Fairfax, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Birthplace of the Confederate Battle Flag

 
 
Birthplace of the Confederate Battle Flag Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, April 14, 2008
1. Birthplace of the Confederate Battle Flag Marker
Inscription. During the First Battle of Manassas, amid the smoke of combat, troops found it difficult to distinguish between Union and Confederate flags. Generals P.G.T. Beauregard, Joseph E. Johnston and Quartermaster General William L. Cabell met near here in September 1861 and approved the first Confederate battle flag; a square red flag with blue diagonally crossed bars, and 12 stars. This pattern was adapted for use in other battle flags and was incorporated into the Confederate national flag in 1863. Beauregard's headquarters also hosted the 1 Oct. 1861 Fairfax Court House conference, during which Confederate President Davis and his generals plotted strategy.
 
Erected 2007 by Department of Historical Resources. (Marker Number B 261.)
 
Location. 38° 51.005′ N, 77° 19.036′ W. Marker is in Fairfax, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (State Road 236) and Oak Street, on the right when traveling west on Main Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fairfax VA 22030, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Richard Ratcliffe’s Mount Vineyard Plantation (within shouting distance of this marker); Ratcliffe Cemetery (approx.
Birthplace of the Confederate Battle Flag Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, April 14, 2008
2. Birthplace of the Confederate Battle Flag Marker
0.2 miles away); Arlington-Fairfax Electric Railway (approx. 0.3 miles away); Manassas Gap Railroad (approx. 0.3 miles away); Old Fairfax High School (approx. 0.4 miles away); Mosby (approx. half a mile away); Dr. William Gunnell House (approx. half a mile away); Old Baptismal Area (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Fairfax.
 
Also see . . .
1. Flags of the Confederate States of America. Detailed discussion of the flags of the Confederacy. (Submitted on April 14, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Vexillology and the Confederate Flag. Historian Tom Clemens explains the difference between the various Confederate flags, noting the difference between the "national" and "battle" flags. (Submitted on June 30, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

3. The Birth of the ‘Stainless Banner’. Part of the New York Times' Disunion series, John M. Coski's article (5/14/2013)on the adoption of the Confederate national and battle flags notes. In reflecting on the flag debate then and the debate now, he draws an interesting conclusion: "...
The Battle Flag of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia image. Click for full size.
By Public Domain
3. The Battle Flag of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia
This flag was never known as the "Confederate Flag". It was never used on flag poles or draped on buildings and was not the flag of the Confederacy. It was designed and manufactured to be square and used as a battle or regimental flag.
Consider the modern history of the Georgia state flag. In 2004, after decades of debate, Georgians ratified a new state flag that was clearly modeled after the Confederate Stars and Bars. The most vocal protest came (and still comes) from Confederate heritage activists, who steadfastly hold on to the 1956 state flag, which bears the Southern Cross battle flag. African-American leaders, though fully aware that the new state flag is based on the first Confederate national flag, said they did not find it troubling; the real Stars and Bars does not carry the baggage that the battle flag (the one the headline writers so often mistakenly dub the “Stars and Bars”) did, and does....In other words, the real Stars and Bars, the original Confederate flag, is acceptable to them for the same reason that it was not acceptable to Confederates in 1863, and to Confederate heritage activists today: it’s not Confederate enough."
(Submitted on May 14, 2013.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 11,445 times since then and 789 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3. submitted on , by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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