ἐν τούτῳ νίκα

Confederate soldiers and the new Southern Flag within the fallen Fort Sumter, South Carolina, April 1861; salted paper print, Gilder Lehrman Collection.
Confederate soldiers and the new Southern Flag within the fallen Fort Sumter, South Carolina, April 1861; salted paper print, Gilder Lehrman Collection.

The fourth day of March was an eventful day in the Provisional Capital of the Confederate States of America, as well as in Washington. At half past three P.M., on yesterday, the Flag of the Confederate States of America was flung out to the breeze from the staff of the Capitol and as its proud folds gradually unclosed, it seemed to wave defiance to the Northern wind that came rushing down from the Potomac laden with threats of Abolition coercion. A large concourse of spectators had assembled on Capitol Hill, and the number would doubtless have been trebled had it been possible to have given an earlier announcement of the ceremony, Miss L.C.T. Tyler, one of the fair descendants of the Old Dominion, and a granddaughter of the venerable Ex-President of the late United States, had been selected to perform the principal part upon this occasion. When the time had arrived for raising the banner, Miss Tyler steadily and with heart throbbing with patriotic emotion, elevated the flag to the summit of the staff, cannon thundered forth a salute, the vast assemblage rent the air with shouts of welcome, and the people of the South had for the first time a view of the Southern flag. Ere there was time to take one hasty glance at the national ensign, the eyes of all were upturned to gaze at what would perhaps at any time have attracted unusual attention; but on this occasion seemed really a Providential omen. Scarcely had the first report from the salute died away, when a large and beautifully defined circle of blue vapor rose slowly over the assemblage of Southern spirits there assembled to vow allegiance to the Southern banner, rested for many seconds on a level with the Flag of the Confederate States, then gradually ascended until lost in the gaze of the multitude. It was a most beautiful and auspicious omen, and those who look with an eye of faith to the glorious future of our Confederacy, could not but believe that the same God that vouchsafed to the Christian Emperor the cross in the heavens as a promise of victory, had this day given to a young nation striving for Liberty a Divine augury of hope and national durability.

The Flag of the Confederate States was the work of the Committee appointed by Congress, none of the designs sent by individuals as models having been thought suitable. It consists of three bars of red and white. The upper red, middle white, and lower red. The lower bar extends the whole width of the flag, and just above it, next to the staff on the upper left hand corner of the flag is a blue Union with the seven stars in a circle. The design is simple, easily recognized, and sufficiently distinct from the old Gridiron. Long may it wave over a free prosperous and United people.

Montgomery Weekly Advertiser, 6 March 1861.

Author: Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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