Picture of Rebel Flag

 

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Picture of Rebel Flag

The Flags of Robert E. Lee

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At right we present a nice picture of Rebel Flags. They are captured Rebel Flags on display in the US House of Representatives.   This picture is from an original March 8, 1862 edition of Harper's Weekly, the most popular illustrated newspaper of the day. The picture is captioned, "Rebel Flags in the Old House of Representatives at Washington". The illustration shows pictures of various Rebel Flags which have been captured in battle.  This 1862 illustration shows part of the problem with the Confederate "Stars and Bars" flags.

 Thumbnail above takes you to Enlarged View of the Rebel Flag Picture in the US Capitol over the Confederate Camp

From the picture, you can see that the Rebel Flags do not look completely different from the US Flag when not fully extended in the breeze.  In fact, if you were not told that these were Rebel Flags, you would probably assume that they were US Flags.  This similarity in flags caused confusion in the war, and is what led to the Confederacy adopting the "Southern Cross" flag for use as a battle flag.

This is a fascinating image, showing the elite of the city in the House of Representatives viewing these prized trophies of War.  This no doubt would have been an invitation only affair.  The occasion appears to be a gala event, with the participants in their best clothes. Further research reveals that the event being celebrated was George Washington's birthday.  Harper's Weekly reported that events such as this one were held across the North to celebrate Washington's birthday.

 

 

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