Real Confederate Naval flag??

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by woxTN, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. woxTN

    woxTN New Member

    I am sure there are 100's of posts like this, but pls. humor me guys.. Bought this flag 10-15 yrs ago. Came with an auction manual from 1950's from Shore Galleries in Illinois where the flag is listed just as "confederate flag". Stillhas a shore Galleries tag on the flag.. Additional documentation was a newspaper article explaining the sale of a large collection of civil war relics from a storage locker that had been in a families rental since the 1920's. The article is titled" collection of Civil War artifacts to be Sold for Storage Charges". The collection ,the article states, was from a Union General(decendant of the family who had died, leaving no relatives to claim the locker)who arrived in Chicago in 1885.The article has 4 photos with everything from small cannon,drums a wall full of civil war firearms and the final picture is, the caption states, of the editor of a magazine called Gun Journal standing in a room of artifacts wearing a Union Generals Jacket with this flag in the background and the flag is mentioned in the caption where it states "Confederate Flag in background discontinued in 1864 because it's resemblance to white surrender" The flag measures 74"x61" and the stars are hand stitched. Has what appears to be canvas pocket on end which I take was for a pole? Can anyone here help me figure out if this was a real 1860's flag or just a reenactment flag?? With this documentation would be surprised if it was a new flag..
     

    Attached Files:

  2. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Hi woxTN,
    The birth of the second national flag of the Confederate States was May 1, 1863. It incorporated the beloved battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, then often called the "Virginia flag" onto a long field of white. If this flag is authentic, it has the appearence of being contract made in the Western theater of the War as they often made the Virginia battle flag without the white edging around the blue cross. Also, they sometimes used cotton rather than wool bunting which the CS government used in the East. I like, for instance, the way the stars are sewn on and the size of the flag itself. However I am bugged by the way it was machine sewn. The South did have sewning machines but they were not common but it is the sewning technique that looks suspicious to me. It looks too modern. If you don't mind I would like post this onto another forum that focus on Civil War flags. They consist of several experts that can give us a better assessment.
     
  3. woxTN

    woxTN New Member

    Thank you for the response. Sorry to have posted on this site, thought Flags were Flags, and found this site by doing a search for confederate flags and found a couple threads concerning Civil war flags.. I had no intention of "hijacking" this thread.. Will search out a civil war flag site, or just leave it in the closet for another 15-20 years.... And not sure if I read your comments on cotton or wool correctly, but this flag appears to be made of silk, if not it is the finest,lightest cotton I have ever seen.Then again I have zero knowledge on fabric design, so who knows..... Thank you again..
     
  4. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    ...
    Hello, woxTN !!!

    Welcome to the USA-FLAG-SITE Forums!!!

    This is YOUR thread, YOU started it, so don't worry about "hijacking" it!

    CSAANV is a member of more than one "Flag-related" Forum. I think what he was trying to say is that he wanted to post some of this into another forum that focusses more on American Civil War era Flags, where there are more knowledgeable people (experts) who are interested in Flags such as yours. This would increase the chances of you (and us) being able to find out a LOT more about your Flag!

    Thank you!


    Robin Hickman
    ("Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man")
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.
    ...
     
  5. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    Hi woxTN,
    I am sorry I didn't communicate my thoughts more clearly. My friend Robin is absolutely correct, we want to help you. That is the reason we are here. As Robin said better I would like to repost your post on the Civil War Flags message board. They are clearly the best at assessing these types of relics (they live for examples like yours). I just wanted your permission to do so before I move ahead. I do thank you for posting and eagerly await your response. Also, in your reply you said that the fabric could be silk. It very well could be, I just said that it looked like cotton because from the photograph it has that appearence. Is it possible that it could be a fine linen? If it is indeed silk it would be in remarkable shape. Silk flags from that period have a tendency to "dry rot" and become brittle. Is that the case with the material I see in your photo? Thanks again, we are very happy you did decide to post with us. Who knows, if the flag is authentic it could be a major find in terms of adding to our knowledge of the different types of Confederate flags.
    Warmest regards,
    mike
     
  6. AmericaHurrah

    AmericaHurrah Member

    This is a cotton flag. It is a beautiful flag, but it would not be for Naval use. Cotton absorbs water and was not a choice for maritime use. Wool has been used for maritime flags since the 18th century at least and probably before.
     
  7. AmericaHurrah

    AmericaHurrah Member

    p.s.: Flags are never made of linen, except for sometimes the hoist and the thread. The body or the stars in my experience.
     
  8. AmericaHurrah

    AmericaHurrah Member

    OK, I have looked all through the Flag Forum and I see nothing called the Civil War Flag Message Board. How does one find that?
     
  9. csaanv

    csaanv Member

  10. Greg Biggs

    Greg Biggs New Member

    Hello, Looking at the pictures the flag appears to be polished cotton entirely - which is typically used only for stars and fimbration on CS flags. CS Navy flags were entirely made of single ply wool bunting imported from England (as were US Navy flags) but the stars and fimbration were indeed polished cotton. Naval flags did have pole sleeves through which a rope tie set was passed to attach the flag to a ship's halliards. They also had whipped eyelets on the hoist edge for attachment to a flag pole but this was more for the smaller boat flags used by naval vessels. The larger flags had the rope/hoist attachments. The make up of the flag is puzzling as the cotton absorbs water rather than repels it like wool bunting and if this was a naval flag it would not have lasted very long in a sea breeze. I think we should be considering this as a land used flag and even then larger CS national flags were wool bunting. This could have been a large home made flag for patriotic use or ceremonial. It has been mentioned already that the lack of white fimbration along the blue cross might denote a Western Theater/Trans-Mississippi Theater use/manufacture and that is very possible indeed. Could you unfold the flag entirely and send me some pictures for the file I am making on it? Biggsg@charter.net
     
  11. Greg Biggs

    Greg Biggs New Member

    One more thing - in my 28 years of examining actual CS flags across the country I have found a few - VERY few - flags made of cotton. The vast majority of them were for patriotic purposes and not military use; hanging in a home, for a parade, etc.. For CS military flags the cloth use goes like this: 1861-1862 - silk (both regimental and company level colors); 1862-1865 - imported British wool bunting. In the ANV in May 1862 there was a limited run of 12 star battle flags for units of Jackson's Corps, the Texas Brigade, the Maryland Line, that were made of a wool/cotton mix (warp/weft). Large size flags for forts, government buildings, naval vessels, etc. were always wool bunting and even then they had a shelf life of 90 days or so before needed repair/replacement. A cotton flag for a unit and fort etc. would have been shredded after good use in particular the larger flags. Silk was never used for larger flags except for one that I know of - the Alabama secession flag of November 1860 and into 1861 - and this one was left up over their capitol building and badly damaged in a storm.
     
  12. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    …..
    Greetings, Greg, and welcome to the USA-FLAG-SITE Forums!

    I don't know if you realized it, but this particular thread is almost 5 years old. On the other hand... A couple of the other commenters are "semi-active" here, so there might be some additional responses after this one (mine).

    Robin Hickman
    "Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man"
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.
    …..
     
  13. Greg Biggs

    Greg Biggs New Member

    Hi Robin,

    I knew that going in and just found the thread a couple days ago but wanted to respond. Thanks for the excellent site for flag discussions! Greg
     

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