3rd confederate national flag banner

In the smoke and confusion of Civil War battlefields, it was quite common for the masses of troops to mistake their enemies and their allies for each other. In many instances, batteries of cannon fired into the ranks of their fellow countrymen, or generals rode into the midst of enemy troops thinking they were members of their own command. The variety of uniforms worn by both sides added more confusion to the swirling smoky haze of war, and the soldiers could be sure of the allegiance of a mass of troops only by the colors flying above them.

On March 4, 1865, less than a month before the capture of Richmond, the Confederate Congress adopted the third and last Confederate national flag, a distinctive design that would not be confused with any other. This new flag was created by shortening the Stainless Banner to the standard ratio and by adding a broad vertical red bar to the outside edge.

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