What Do the Colors of the Confederate Flag Mean?

by Monica Patrick
The Confederate flag is representative of the original Confederate States of America.

The Confederate flag is representative of the original Confederate States of America.

The Confederate flag today was the last of four flags flown by the Confederacy. While design of the flags changed, each flag used the same colors as the American flag: red, white and blue. This decision is credited to Southern Gen. Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard. The Confederate flag in all its designs flew from 1861 to 1865, first flying in South Carolina. The original flag was known as the "Stars and Bars." The square flag had seven stars representing the seven states that seceded from the United States. But the most-recognized flag of the era is what is known as the "Confederate Navy Jack."

Red

While the meaning of the color red in the Confederate flags remained the same, the size and usage of the color changed throughout its transformations. Red represented the valor of the Confederacy. As in the case of the original United States flag, it represented hardiness and the willingness to sacrifice. Red was used as a background of the most popular flag, the "Navy Jack." Other flags showed white as the background.

White

In the language of flags, white represents purity. Innocence of ideas is what is attempted to be represented by using white. Some Christians also attribute the usage of white in a flag as sign of the represented country's allegiance to God and his son.

Blue

The blue of the Confederate flag is a dark or navy blue. This blue was also known as "Bonnie Blue." It was first used in the Louisiana state flag and was thought to represent Southern pride. The blue of the flag later was also known to represent justice as well as the perseverance and determination of the people.

Stars

Beauregard added one star to the Confederate flag for each of the states in the Confederacy. The first seven stars represented belonged to South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. After the Battle of Fort Sumter, stars were added for Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee. There were eventually 11 stars.

Cross

What looks like an X on the "Confederate Jack" is actually the cross of Saint Andrew. Andrew was the first disciple of Jesus who later in life became a martyr. When the Roman government set about his crucifixion, Andrew protested. It is reported he asked to be crucified in the form of the X as he didn't feel worthy to die in the same manner of Jesus. The Confederate leadership apparently felt inspired by Andrew's fortitude and adopted his cross into their flag.

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About the Author

As a former senior sales director with Mary Kay and the co-owner of a renovation company, Monica Patrick has firsthand knowledge of small business operations. Besides start ups, she has extensive skills in recruiting, selling, leadership, makeup artistry and skin care.

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