Rare original Army of Northern Virginia Confederate battle flag, featuring the iconic dark blue Saint Andrew’s Cross edged in white against a deep red background, adorned with 13 white stars. The flag is constructed of a high quality bunting and measures the standard infantry size of 48″ on the hoist and 47″ on the fly. The stars are of heavy white linen and applied to the front side only, with corresponding star shapes cut out from blue fabric so that both sides are identical in appearance. The hoist is a heavier canvas material with hand-sewn grommets, folded over and sewn to the edge of the flag. It is a highly displayable piece in fine condition, with a nice age patina and some small holes and tatters throughout; it is entirely original and unrestored, and there is a six-inch open seam at the fly end. Previously sold by respected Civil War specialist Dale C. Anderson and accompanied by his letter of authenticity.
The first commander of the Army of Northern Virginia was General P. G. T. Beauregard, who suggested the design and adoption of a battle flag, which came to be the primary battle flag for all corps and forces under the Army of Northern Virginia. In a letter to Joseph E. Johnston of September 5, 1861, Beauregard proposed ‘regimental war or badge flags made of red with two blue bars crossing each other diagonally on which shall be introduced the stars.’ At the first Battle of Bull Run a number Confederate regiments fought under the Confederate national flag, known as the ‘Stars and Bars,’ which resembled the flag of the United States—this led to some confusion in identifying troops, and Beauregard stated that if the army created a new battle flag, ‘We would then on the field of battle know our friends from our enemies.’ Original Confederate battle flags are extremely scarce—particularly in such a well-preserved state—and rarely ever come to open market.
Bidding for the Auction opens Sep 11, 2014 & ends Sep 17, 2014