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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. Marker has been reported missing. It was located near 38° 51.005′ N, 77° 19.036′ W. Marker was in Fairfax, Virginia. Marker was at the intersection of Main Street (Virginia Route 236) and Oak Street, on the right when traveling west on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker was 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 location. Richard Ratcliffe’s Mount Vineyard Plantation (within shouting distance of this marker
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
but has been reported missing); Ratcliffe Cemetery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Arlington-Fairfax Electric Railway (approx. 0.3 miles away); Manassas Gap Railroad (approx. 0.3 miles away but has been reported missing); 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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fairfax.
 
More about this marker. This "Birthplace of the Confederate Battle Flag" marker and the nearby "Richard Ratcliffe’s Mount Vineyard Plantation" marker are both missing entirely, post and all, due to construction by Pulte Homes. Pulte has demolished the apartment buildings that were in the background of these markers, and most of the trees in the area, for construction of their "Mount Vineyard" development of condos and townhouses. They do have plans to place one new marker at the southeastern corner of the property that will face Main Street, but the agent at the site did not seem to know
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.
what that new marker would say. My concern is that they will mention the Ratcliffe property for the heritage marketing of their development, but will neglect the Birthplace of the Confederate Battle flag due to its controversial nature in these politically correct times. That would be a shame!
 
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: "... 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 was last revised on February 23, 2017. This page originally submitted on April 14, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 11,736 times since then and 253 times this year. Last updated on February 22, 2017, by Matt Marrazzo of Fairfax, Va, Usa. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 14, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3. submitted on July 18, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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