as opposed to the "official" square shape for a battle flag. This illustrates that while the official shape was to be square, the sizes and shapes varied by regiment and period.
The picture is of an original September 17, 1864 edition of Harper's Weekly. The illustration is captioned, "Harry Davis Capturing the Battle Flag of the Thirtieth Louisiana Regiment at the Battle of Ezra Church." This is a poignant image, and one symbolic of the growing futility of the Rebel Cause. A dying confederate soldier is seen grasping his confederate flag. With his dying breath he struggles to hold on to the tattered flag. As he dies the Union Soldier is firmly taking charge of the old weathered flag. In the background, another rebel battle flag can be seen. This one still waving in the breeze, and in better condition, symbolic that though defeated, the pride of the South lives on.
Below I present a transcript of the Harper's Weekly Article accompanying the Confederate Flag History Picture in its entirety.
A Gallant Exploit
We give on our first page this week an illustration of one of those brave actions which have conferred distinction and honor upon our private soldiers, but which have most frequently passed with only occasional record. At the Battle of Ezra Church HARRY DAVIS, a soldier belonging to the Forty-sixth Ohio regiment advanced far to the front under the fire of rebel batteries, and reaching over the breast-works of the enemy, grasped the colors of the Thirtieth Tennessee from the hands of the rebel standard-bearer and brought them off as a trophy. Two weeks ago we gave the portrait of Captain De Gress, who had distinguished himself by gallant action; and we deem it proper that the private soldier also should receive the merit due to his bravery.