The Bonnie Blue Flag is commonly known as the first flag of the Confederate States of America, though its origins date to before the states seceded.
Also known as the Lone Star Flag, it features a blue background with a single white star in the center.
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Its first recorded use dates back to 1810 when it represented the Republic of West Florida, an organization of people from southern Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana that spoke English and rebelled against Spanish government, according to Washington Artillery
Melissa Johnson is believed to have sewed the flag a couple days before forces from the rebel Republic set out to capture the Spanish capital in Louisiana, Baton Rouge, on September 11, 1810.
After the successful capture, the republic lasted about three months, dissolving once Louisiana was annexed as part of the United States by President James Madison.
The lone star of the Bonnie Blue Flag also showed up in 1839 as a variation on the Republic of Texas’ flag.
It became linked to the Confederacy once Mississippi raised the flag during its first week of secession in 1861. Harry McCarthy, an Irish-born actor, saw the flag and was inspired to write the second most famous song in the South at the time, “The Bonnie Blue Fag.”
The song focuses on what the South deemed Northern aggression with abolitionists attempting to steal their rights from them, according to the Civil War Trust
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The banner was eventually replaced by the Stars and Bars as the official flag of the Confederacy later in 1861.
The blue of the Bonnie Blue Flag is said to have represented truth, and the white of the star represents purity, according to Washington Artillery. A single star was typical to signify independence in the 19th century. Some states also felt that the star on the Bonnie Blue banner represented them taking back their star from the Union’s flag.
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