Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Stainless Banner

Reconciliation between the North and South has traveled a difficult road since 1865. One reason for this has been each side's continued commitment to honor their soldiers and causes.

The above print was published (ironically in New York ) just two years after the end of the war. The image was obviously intended to commemorate the Confederacy and its veterans. In the center focal point is the second Confederate national flag, also known as the Stainless Banner. Under the flag it says "THE WARRIOR'S BANNER TAKES ITS FLIGHT TO GREET THE WARRIOR'S SOUL." The flagstaff is topped with a cross intending to show the holiness of the cause.

The choices for corner vignettes are interesting and seemingly have no common connection other than all four of the events happened in Virginia.

The top left image shows "A CHARGE IN THE WILDERNESS." It appears to show Gen. Robert E. Lee's famous attempt to lead the Texas Brigade in an assault during the 1864 battle. The Texans promised Lee they would only continue if the general moved to a safer location .

The top right corner shows "THE CRATER" at Petersburg, Virginia. It shows men, earthen debris, and artillery tubes flying through the air. The city is observable in the background.

The bottom left corner image shows the CSS Virginia in the famous ironclad battle at Hampton Roads, Virginia. The Union's Monitor lurks in the background as a traditional wooden sail ship tilts after being struck by the Virginia

The bottom right panel depicts "AFTER THE SURRENDER" at Appomattox. Gen. Lee shakes hands with his officers as Confederate soldiers wait for their paroles.  Arms are stacked and a first national Confederate flag hangs at half mast in front of a couple of wall tents.

Image courtesy of the Library of Congress

No comments:

Post a Comment