Civil War Union Flags

Union Civil War Flags

Between 1861 and 1865 the United States was engulfed in Civil War. The Union fought to keep the country together and defeat the secessionist Confederate States. In the process, the abhorrent practice of slavery was abolished and the United States as we know it today began to take shape.

Brief History of the Civil War

The roots of the Civil War stretch back to far before 1861. The tensions between slave holding states and free states grew for decades. As the United States expanded west the question of whether slavery should expand as well was fiercely debated. Several solutions attempted to compromise between the free and slave states, but the rift between the two had grown too great.

In order to protect their “peculiar institution” and due to a growing sense of resentment against the more politically powerful northern states after the election of Abraham Lincoln as president, seven states in the Deep South (South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas) seceded from the United States to form their own government.

The United States government did not recognize the Confederate States as a legitimate entity, and considered those states to be in rebellion. For about 2 months tensions simmered between the two governments until they exploded on April 12, when the Confederate military fired on Fr. Sumter in Charleston harbor. Three days later, President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to fight those states in rebellion. In response to this call, 4 more states (Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina) seceded from the Union to join the Confederacy.

The Civil War had begun in earnest. After 4 incredibly bloody years, the Confederacy was defeated. The southern states lay in ruins, their economy in shambles and their society upended with the abolition of slavery. The country was changed in the crucible of war, and the United States that emerged would never be the same.

Glory, Glory, Halleluiah

The Civil War Union flag was not remarkably different from the pre-Civil War era flag. Since the government did not recognize the Confederacy's legitimacy, no stars were removed from the flag at all. In fact, in 1863 a star was added in recognition of West Virginia choosing to break away from Virginia and remain with the Union.

The battlefield in the 19th century was an awful place to be. In addition to constant threat of death, you were deafened by the crack of muskets and the roar of cannon, blinded by the smoke that hung in the air from the black powder, and through it all you were expected to remain in formation with your unit. To help maintain unit cohesion, flags were extraordinarily important on the Civil War battlefield.

We have unit flags available from several regiments, HQ's, as well as Cavalry Flags. These flags are perfect for the history buff in your life, or if you know what regiment an ancestor served in. The flags are made of high quality nylon, and will last you for many years.

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