2nd Confederate National Flag Banner

The Stainless Banner

The 2nd Confederate national flag, known as the "Stainless Banner," was adopted on May 1, 1863; it was purposely distinctive and could not be confused with the Union army's flag. The new flag was twice as long as it was wide, much longer than the 3:2 ratio of most flags, and had the square Confederate battle flag in the corner of a snow-white field. By President Jefferson Davis's order, the first Stainless Banner ever made was draped over General Stonewall Jackson's coffin while he lay in state before his May 15, 1863, burial. The 2nd Confederate national flag served the Confederacy for almost two years.

Although it solved the problem of confusion with the U.S. flag, the Stainless Banner had other defects that made it unsatisfactory. It was so long that it was hard for the wind to open it out, and when it was limp, it very closely resembled a white flag of truce or surrender. In October 1864, a design for yet another Confederate flag was proposed to the Senate, and on March 4, 1865, exactly four years after the first national flag was first flown over Montgomery, Ala., the 2nd Confederate national flag was retired and replaced with the new design.

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