History of the Stars and Bars Flag.
Stars and Bars Committee
United Confederate Veterans
June 1 to 3, 1915
To the United Confederate Veterans, in convention assembled, at Richmond, Va., June 1-3, 1915:
Comrades—Your committee, appointed by Special Order No. 30, September 14, 1914, in accordance with resolution passed at the Jacksonville Reunion, “to investigate the designing of the Stars and Bars Flag of the Confederacy,” have, as therein directed, made a most thorough and exhaustive examination of the whole matter—it gave all possible publicity—and your committee beg leave to submit the following report:
The Hon. Wm. Porcher Miles, for the Committee on Flag and Seal of the Confederacy, made a report to the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States, March 4, 1861; with this report was submitted the selected design. Mr. Miles reported ”that something was conceded by the committee to what seemed a strong desire to retain, at least, a suggestion of the old Stars and Stripes.” The design so submitted by the committee, and subsequently approved by the Congress, was, however, so suggestive of the old “Stars and Stripes” that it was practically the same, except the bars, “Red, White and Red,” were substituted for the thirteen stripes.
The report brings out the fact which, for the truth of history, should be ever remembered, that the Southern people earnestly and devotedly loved the old Union; that they seceded therefrom with deep regret when forced to do so to maintain their rights as a free people; and this attachment was so strong that the Congressional Committee was obliged to recommend a flag closely resembling “Old Glory,” which had ever been cherished by the Southern people.
The decision of the Flag Committee evidently eliminated all other designs and limited them in their selection to the most practicable of the designs, which “assimilated to the United States Flag.” There is not a word in the said report which justifies the statement of a local newspaper in saying, “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.”
The committee says “that the mass of models or designs were, more or less, copied from or assimilated to the United States Flag,” and they reported a design almost the same as the United States Flag—a design practically like what is claimed to have been submitted by two of our comrades.
Why should the committee attempt to design a flag when it thus had the model of the flag decided on in their possession? Moreover, the report to Congress does not claim that the committee designed, but only submitted a model.
Two claimants have filed their claims with your committee, and submitted evidence which each honestly believes substantiates the claim made, to wit:
Maj. Orren Randolph Smith, of Louisburg, N. C, presented by his devoted daughter. Miss Jessica R. Smith.
Mr. Nicola Marschall (in 1861), of Marion, Ala., since 1873 a resident of Louisville, Ky., submitted first by his wife and afterwards with her consent, enlarged and added to by Mrs. Chappell Cory, of Birmingham, Ala.
There has been some evidence of State rivalry being injected into this contention. Your committee deplores this. It has eliminated such in forming judgment, and desired only to ascertain the truth.
Your committee desires to state that it has no intention of doubting, or in the slightest degree impugning, the veracity of either claimant or of those testifying. It believes each is endeavoring to tell the truth. But memory, after the lapse of fifty years, is most unreliable. It respects the claimants’ veracity, even if it is forced to doubt the reliability of the memory of either.
To reach the truth the claimants’ personal statements should therefore be corroborated by additional testimony.
The testimony submitted will be considered from three standpoints, which your committee thinks exhaustive:
First. That of contemporaneous or local opinion of the facts. On this point both claimants submit testimony, of more or less strength, that it was the belief in 1861 of persons residing in the immediate vicinity of the residence of the claimants that each of said claimants had submitted the chosen design. The evidence is so even, and the point of so little value, in view of other evidence, that we need not follow it up further.
Second. That of the direct evidence of parties, other than the claimants, as to such designing and submission thereof to the Flag Committee of the Confederate Congress. There is no evidence whatever submitted to show that any person, except Mr. Marschall himself, ever saw his design, or knew it was submitted to the Congressional Committee. Even were it proven, as stated in evidence, as the belief of some of the witnesses, submitted by Mrs. Cory, that Mr. Marschall made a design for Mrs. Lockett, and that she gave said design to Governor Moore, Governor of Alabama, this would not warrant any assumption that Governor Moore gave it to the Confederate Congressional Committee, for this Committee was one of a Congress with whose duties the Governor of Alabama had nothing whatever to do.
On the part of Major Smith, the lady who made his model, and four parties who each saw her making it, testify that it was the design of Major Smith which was so made, and that it was sent to the Confederate authorities at Montgomery, and adopted as the “Stars and Bars Flag.” Mrs. Cory states that she does not deny that Major Smith submitted a design.
Besides this, nine parties testify as to a flag-raising, in Louisburg, N.C., on March 15, 1861, before North Carolina had seceded, which Mrs. Cory also states she does not deny.
The bearing of this flag-raising on this contention is, that the flag so raised is sworn to by the maker of the model, sent to Montgomery, and by one who saw her making both, as an exact copy, except as to size, of the model flag she made for Major Smith, and which had been adopted by Congress as the “Stars and Bars Flag.”
The evidence on this second point overwhelmingly favors the claim of Major Smith.
Third. That of statements personally made by the claimants. No evidence is submitted which throws a shadow of doubt on the accuracy of Major Smith’s memory, and much is given as to high character. But very important evidence is submitted impeaching the recollections of Mr. Marschall. In his affidavit, Mr. Marschall also claims to have designed the Confederate uniform, as well as the flag. But our gallant comrade, Major Lamar Fontaine, of Lyons, Miss., submits an affidavit, accompanying the same with photographs, giving such circumstantial and most plausible details, as to add to the conviction of its reliability, that he gave to the Confederate Committee on “Uniform” a model; that this was the uniform of the Russian Kioski Cossacks Regiments, who were the bodyguard of Prince Gortschakoff. This uniform Major Fontaine wore when a member of said command, during the siege of Sevastopol, and that was adopted as the basis for the Confederate uniform.
If Mr. Marschall’s memory fails him as to designing the uniform, it is not unlikely that it has also failed him as to designing the flag.
Therefore, we cannot place that reliance, which we otherwise would, upon his statement, based on a memory which is thus proved not reliable.
The evidence of this point alone, without regard to No. 2, above, is convincing as to Major Smith’s claim.
Reviewing the evidence, it is shown that in the place of residence of each claimant, the people gave each of said claimants the credit of designing the flag. This is very natural. Many historical truths, and many historical myths, are supported by like beliefs.
Evidence is presented of the lady who made Major Smith’s model, and others who saw her at work, making the same. The evidence shows that the flag was Major Smith’s design—that it was sent to Montgomery, and it was the same as the “Stars and Bars Flag” adopted by the Confederate Congress.
The claimants for Mr. Marschall voluntarily state that they do not deny that Major Smith sent a model to Montgomery.
There is no evidence to show, that anyone testifying, saw Mr. Marschall’s model, or of their own knowledge knew that such was made, or that it was handed to the Confederate Congressional Committee. If it was handed to Governor Moore, of Alabama, it by no means indicates that it ever reached, or even was intended for, the Congressional Committee.
The memory of Major Smith stands unchallenged, while that of Mr. Marschall is undoubtedly incorrect, as to his recollection of designing the uniform, and is not therefore inapt to be as to designing the flag.
Your committee is not, from the evidence before it, convinced that Mr. Marschall ever submitted a design for the flag. The evidence does show that Major Smith did submit a design, which is admitted by Mrs. Cory.
Your Committee is convinced that Major Smith did submit a design. As the design which the Congressional Committee submitted, with its report, which was adopted, as the evidence most clearly shows, to be the same as Major Smith’s design, it is reasonable to conclude that Major Smith submitted the design of the “Stars and Bars Flag” of the Confederate States.
Your Committee would therefore report, after a most careful consideration, avid thorough investigation, that the honor of having designed the first flag of the Confederate States, known as the ”Stars and Bars,” is due and should be awarded, by the United Confederate Veterans, to MAJOR ORREN RANDOLPH SMITH, LATE OF LOUISBURG, NORTH CAROLINA.
Your Committee beg to transmit herewith the entire evidence submitted to it, which it fears is too lengthy for publication in our minutes, but it appends, as Exhibits, a brief synopsis thereof.
(Signed) C. IRVINE WALKER, Chairman,
THOMAS GREEN, SR.,
JNO. P. HICKMAN, Committee.
Generals C. Irvine Walker, John P. Hickman and Thomas Green, Sr., Committee U. C. V.
Gentlemen—I respectfully submit this, my claim, that the honor of designing the Stars and Bars flag of the Southern Confederacy, is due to my father, Major Orren Randolph Smith, of Louisburg, Franklin County, North Carolina. Evidence proving this claim is herewith submitted.
First. Major 0. R. Smith, during his life, clearly claimed the honor and described in detail its conception, what it stood for and how made. His high character and truthfulness is evident in Exhibits 10, 11, 19.
For Major Smith’s statement see Exhibit 1.
Second. The model for the flag, which model was sent to the Confederate Congress, at Montgomery, Alabama, was designed by Major 0. R. Smith and made, under his direction, by Mrs. Catherine Rebecca Winborne. She testifies as to making this model and that said model was sent to the Confederate Congress, at Montgomery, Alabama. See Exhibit 2.
Mrs. Sue Jasper Sugg testifies she saw Mrs. Winborne making the flag for Major Smith, which he had designed to be sent as a model for the Confederate flag, to Montgomery, and also the large flag of the same design, which was raised at Louisburg. See Exhibit 3.
Testimony as to the veracity of both the above affiants are appended to said affidavits.
Mrs. J. A. Jones, Mrs. Emma Spencer and Mr. Adam Ball gave affidavits bearing the same testimony as Mrs. Winborne and Mrs. Sugg. See Exhibits 4, 5, 6.
Third. The local opinion in and around Louisburg, N. C, was very decided and general that Major 0. R. Smith designed the Stars and Bars Flag. Contemporary evidence of a fact generally believed is very apt to be correct. The existence of a general belief in Major Smith’s having designed the Stars and Bars Flag is shown in the affidavits of Exhibits 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18.
Fourth. Major 0. R. Smith also had a large flag made by Mrs. Winborne, such flag being a duplicate of the model she had previously made, and was sent to Montgomery and was adopted as the Confederate Stars and Bars Flag. In evidence of this, see her affidavit. Exhibit 2, and that of Mrs. Sue Jasper Sugg’s, Exhibit 3.
There are quite a number of affidavits, testifying to this and Mrs. Sugg (see Exhibits 2 and 3) say was exactly like the model sent to the Confederate Congress by Major Smith, and was raised at Louisburg.
They generally prove, in addition to the fact that the Stars and Bars Flag was raised in Louisburg, North Carolina, March 18th, 1861, that the flag raised was the Confederate flag, and was believed to have been designed by Major O. R. Smith. See Exhibits 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16.
As corroborative of my claim, I submit the report of a Committee of the North Carolina Confederate Veterans’ Association. They have carefully reviewed the testimony in substantiating my claim and make an unanimous report in favor of the claim that my father. Major 0. R. Smith designed the Stars and Bars flag of the Confederacy. See Exhibit 19.
The North Carolina Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy also adopted unanimously the report of Mrs. Fannie Ransom Williams, which she read at Tarboro, N. C, Historical Evening, October 1913. See Exhibit 20.
All of which is respectfully submitted, and I trust that the evidence submitted will fully substantiate the claim I make in honor of my dear old father’s memory, that he. Major Orren Randolph Smith, should be awarded the distinction of having designed the Stars and Bars Flag of the Confederacy.
(Signed) JESSICA RANDOLPH SMITH.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS OF EVIDENCE SUBMITTED.
Smith Exhibit 1. Affidavit of Major Orren R. Smith describing his designing the flag.
Smith Exhibit 10.
Smith Exhibit No. 11.
Smith Exhibit 19. Report of Committee of North Carolina Division, U. C. V., by Walter Clark, W. P. Wood
The above three exhibits, in addition to others, bear witness to the high character of Major 0. R. Smith.
Smith Exhibit 2. Affidavit of Mrs. Catherine Rebecca Winborne that she made the model for Major Smith, and knows that it was sent to Confederate authorities at Montgomery and that the flag adopted and known as the Stars and Bars were the same as that made by her for Major Smith.
Smith Exhibit 3. Affidavit of Mrs. Sue Jasper Sugg that she saw Mrs. C. R. Winborne making the model flag for Major Smith.
Smith Exhibit 4. Affidavit of Mrs. Mollie S. Jones.
Smith Exhibit 5. Affidavit of Mrs. E. G. Spencer.
Smith Exhibit 6. Affidavit of Adam Ball.
The three above affidavits corroborate those of Mrs. Winborne and Mrs. Sugg.
Smith Exhibit 7. Affidavits of Miss Lou E. Brown.
Smith Exhibit 8. Affidavit of Mrs. W. M. Persen.
Smith Exhibit 9.
Smith Exhibit 12.
Smith Exhibit. 13.
Smith Exhibit 14. Affidavit of Captain J. A. Turner, of the Franklin Rifles.
Smith Exhibit 15. Affidavit of Mrs. Kate M. Crenshaw.
Smith Exhibit 16. Affidavit of Mrs. W. P. Montgomery.
Smith Exhibit 17. Affidavit of Captain T. T. Collie, Company L, Fifteenth N. C. Regiment and Company K, Thirty-Second N.C. Regiment, C. S. A., and a war member of the Franklin Rifles.
Smith Exhibit 18. Affidavit of W. H. H. Hill.
Smith Exhibit 21. Letter of Mrs. J. E. Malone.
The above eleven exhibits, together with Exhibits Nos.
10 and 11, previously referred to, were submitted to show that it was the local opinion in Franklin County, N.C., that Major Smith designed the Stars and Bars Flag.
The affidavits 15 and 16, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 13 and 14 also show that the Stars and Bars Flag was raised at Louisburg, N.C., March 15, 1861, and was made like a model Major Smith had designed and submitted to the Confederate authorities at Montgomery.
Smith Exhibit 20. Letter from Mrs. T. W. Thrash, Secretary North Carolina Division, U. D. C, advising Miss Smith that the North Carolina Division, U. D. C, had on October 9, 1913, unanimously adopted the report, substantiating the claim of Major Smith that he designed the Stars and Bars Flag.
Claim of Mrs. Chappell Cory as to Mr. Nicola Marschall having designed the Stars and Bars Flag of the Southern Confederacy, and letter from Mrs., Marschall, requesting the committee to submit original Marschall claim to Mrs. Cory for her amendment.
Birmingham, Ala., December 29, 1914.
General C. Irvine Walker, Chairman,
Summerville, S. C.
Dear Sir—I am sending you herewith some documents which sustain the historic truth as to the origin of the Stars and Bars.
I claim for Mr. Nicola Marschall that the committee could not agree upon anyone design sent in. The committee, under its instructions, procured from some source four designs and submitted them. Congress was in session at Montgomery, Ala. Governor Moore was a resident of Marion. Mrs. Lockett was a leading spirit among the Confederate women and was connected by marriage to Governor Moore and Mr. Marschall, an artist of local celebrity, who had designed some flags and banners for individual companies, etc.
It was entirely in the natural order of things that the request for suggestions reached Mr. Marschall, and that he made the suggestions in the shape of three designs, and one of them was accepted.
The documents submitted herewith sustained this contention, and are as follows:
First. An affidavit from Mr. Marschall.
Second. Statement from his wife.
Third. Statements from Mrs. Lockett’s son and daughter and from others who were then in Marion, Ala., and were familiar with the facts.
Fourth. Extracts from the Confederate Congressional Records from Harrison’s book, ”The Stars and Stripes,” from the Montgomery Advertiser.
Fifth. A copy of the Louisville Courier-Journal of June 14, 1905, published at Mr. Marschall’s home, containing sketches of the three designs of Mr. Marschall as he designed
Sixth. Please refer to the minutes of the Fifteenth Annual Session of the North Carolina Daughters, page 25, where the historian innocently confesses that she had never heard of the claim of Major Smith until June 1911; also page 26, showing how recent is the Smith contention.
I presume at some time before your committee reaches an opinion, which will exert great influence on the opinions of others, that you will have a public hearing at which the several claimants may be heard, of which you will give due notice.
Please take the utmost care of all original documents sent you, especially of the Courier-Journal, as I attach great value to them, and wish to get them back.
Very respectfully yours,
(Signed) MRS. CHAPPELL CORY.
Louisville, Ky., December 22, 1914.
General C. Irvine Walker.
My Dear Sir—Please send to Mrs. Chappell Cory, Birmingham, Ala., 113 North Twenty-First Street, the papers I sent to you about Mr. Marschall’s claim to the Confederate Flag.
Mrs. Cory has other papers which she will place with these and then she will send all to you for your committee. She is getting up all our proof and will present to you.
Please send these to her immediately, and oblige,
(Signed) MRS. NICOLA MARSCHALL,
1126 South Fourth Avenue.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS OF EVIDENCE SUBMITTED.
(1) Affidavit of Mr. Nicola Marschall as to his having made the design for the Stars and Bars Flag and for the Confederate uniform.
(2) Affidavit of Mrs. Marschall, showing that she believes that in Marion, Ala., Mr. Marschall was esteemed the designer of the flag.
(3) Certificate of Mr. W. A. Lockett.
(4) Certificate of Miss Fannie Lockett.
(5) Affidavit of Mrs. Jas. A. Smith.
(6) Certificate of Colonel Sumter Lee.
The four statements (3 to 6) are the recollection of those making them that Mrs. Lockett asked Mr. Marschall to make a design for the Flag of the Confederacy, but none show that any design he may have made was presented to the Confederate Congressional Committee (Governor Moore had no connection with the said Congress), or that the design was seen by anyone so certifying, or that any of said certifiers were personally cognizant of Mr. Marschall’s having made any design.
(7), Statement of Hon. John Peurifoy that he understood that Mr. Marschall designed the flag. He knows nothing thereof of his own knowledge.
(8) Statement of Colonel D. M. Scott that it was understood in Marion, Ala., that Mr. Marschall had designed the flag.
(9) Letter of Mr. Ernest T. Florance.
(10) Statement of Mrs. Martha McKerall, very positively asserting that Mrs. Lockett and Mr. Marschall designed the flag—not Mr. Marschall alone, but both together.
(11) Copy of the report of Hon. Wm. Porcher Miles, of the Committee on Flag and Seal of the Confederacy, from Journal of the Confederate Congress, March 4, 1861; very interesting and valuable.
(12) Copy of article from the Montgomery Advertiser, printed in the Mobile Daily Advertiser, March 7, 1861.
This gives a newspaper account of the selection of the flag, claiming it to have been the design of the Congressional Committee, and not of
(13, 14) Refer principally to the designing of the Battle Flag, not the Stars and Bars; but contains a statement from Mr. W. P. Miles referring to the committee’s action and report as to the Stars and Bars, which is contradictory to his report.
(15, 16, 17) Extracts from printed matter, giving no evidence to sustain Mr. Marschall’s claim or any enlightenment as to who designed the Stars and Bars Flag.
(18) Extract from Louisville
The following numbers, 19 to 23, certify as to the general belief existing in Marion, Ala., that Mr. Marschall designed the Stars and Bars Flag, and did so at the request of Mrs. Napoleon Lockett:
(19) Testimony of sundry citizens residing in Marion, Ala.
(20) Statement of Miss Hattie Morton.
(21) Affidavit of Mr. C. H. Beale.
(22) Statement of Mrs. Carlos Reese.
(23) Letter of Mrs. Virgnia F. Drake.
Statement of Major Lamar Fontaine, of Lyon, Miss., as to his having submitted design for the Confederate Uniform.
Lyon, Miss., December 19, 1914.
General C. Irvine Walker,
Summerville, S. C.
My Dear General—Upon my arrival last night from a professional tour down in the heart of the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta, I found your interesting letter of the 12th inst., awaiting my answer, regarding the adoption of the Confederate uniform.
Now I gave Miss Jessica Smith a sworn statement regarding the same. Now I am sending you a photocopy of a Daguerrotype taken of myself at Sevastopol, during the siege of that city by the allied armies, on the 20th day of December, 1854, while I was recovering from a wound received in the Malakoff during the awful cannonade of that famous fortress that guarded the inner harbor of the city of Sevastopol. Now, this picture shows you the gray uniform of the soldiers of Prince Gortschakoff, who commanded the Russian forces in the city of Sevastopol. It was the uniform of the Kioski Cossack regiments, who composed the bodyguard of the prince, and differed from the others; only the bodyguard wore a star on the lapel of each collar, while the other Cossacks wore a single star, in the front of their fur caps. I think you will recognize the likeness to our uniform, for I don’t think the old Daguerrotype tells a lie, and this picture was taken sixty years ago, more than ten years before the Confederate States were formed. While at Pensacola, in January, 1861, I saw a notice that the Provisional Congress would assemble in the city of Montgomery, Ala., and I left Pensacola to see the men who were to guide the destinies of the young Southern Confederacy. “Bill” Yancey, of Alabama, was my choice for President. The committee chosen to select a uniform for the soldiers Ox the Southern Confederacy advertised for designs, and said they would meet in their committee room in the Capitol building on February 14th to select and adopt the uniform. I had a brand new replica of my Kioski Cossack uniform made by a tailor in Montgomery (quite an old man at that time), with all the insignias of rank from corporal to commander, prepared, with fastenings to show where they were placed and in what position on sleeve and collar, and on St. Valentine’s Day, 1861, I carried my uniform and exhibited it to the committee. I used the brass buttons of the State of South Carolina, with the motto, “Animis Opibusque Parati,” and the design of the Palmetto Tree and the “S” on one side of the palmetto tree and the “C” on the other. I told the history of my having worn the uniform in battle and how hard it was to see it in the sulphur smoke of the guns, as it was an exact smoke color; and I illustrated it by putting a small charge of powder in an old flint-lock pistol without a wad on the powder, and flashing it between the uniform and the committee.
Now the photo I am sending you was taken of me while a member of Prince Gortschakoff’s Kioski Cossack Bodyguard, and you can see a replica of our uniform and compare it with that worn by yourself in the Confederate Army. And this photo is an exact replica from the original Daguerrotype taken of me in Sebastopol, when just twenty-five years old; and I send you another taken of me at Tuscumbia, Ala., in October 1863), while serving on the staff of General Phillip Dale Roddy as commandant of the post in that city. You can compare them, and give them to the public with this letter if you wish. I have already given Miss Jessica Smith my story and acknowledged it before a notary public.
With kind regards to you and those near and dear, I am, in sunshine or
(Signed) LAMAR FONTAINE, C. E., S., Ph. D.,
AFFIDAVIT OF MAJOR LAMAR FONTAINE
Lamar Fontaine fought in Russia, 1854-1855. The uniform he has on is
All insignias, from corporal to commanding general, I (Fontaine) put on and explained to committee. Over twenty designs of uniforms to select from. This uniform was adopted on St. Valentine’s Day, 1861, by Uniform Committee of C. S. A., without a dissenting voice, at Montgomery, Ala.
(Signed) LAMAR FONTAINE.
H. W. JOHNSTON,
Notary Public, State of Florida.