The Richmond Daily Dispatch
August 6, 1863
The Confederate flag.
News that the following sensible and communication from Charleston Mercury, is worthy the special consideration of our representatives and people We its sentiments and admire the suggestion. With the News, we say:-- Give us our own Southern Cross the emblem of our nationality, the symbol of our glory. Lustrous, unique, always distinguishable and Southern, no prouder flag can float in Heaven's free air, on land or sea, than our starry banner beneath the brilliant constellation of its Southern sky:
The Confederate flag.
We believe we speak the sentiments of three-fourths of the Southern people, when we state that the Confederate flag has not only failed to satisfy, but has greatly disappointed them. The idea of a committee having been occupied for weeks in composing or selecting from a hundred different specimens, a flag to be at once original and striking, finally rejecting all assistance from artists and others, who had furnished abundance of good material, and adopting, as the result of their labor, what?--the Union and three stripes of Lincoln's abolition flag. Mr. Russell, in one of his letters, has well styled it "the counterpart of the U. S. Flag," and so perfectly is it so, that in a calm at sea it is not distinguishable from it. But not only is it stolen from the U. S. Flag, it is also a theft of the coat of arms of another despotism — we mean the House of Austria, whose arms are red, with a white for running through the centre. Nor is this all. The U. S. Flag itself was directly stolen from the British East India Company, with the poor addition of thirteen stars for distinction. Now, if the coat of arms of the Confederate States be drawn with the three bars horizontal, we pilfer the arms of the House of Austria; and if we adopt the plan of the United States, and draw the coat of arms with the bars perpendicular, we pilfer the arms of the town of Beauvais, in France. So that, whichever way we twist it, we will be laughed at by everybody, and despised by those whose emblems we have borrowed, not to say stolen--We are living under a Provisional Government — may we not hope that this may be also a Provisional flag? Our Congress is soon to meet, and we sincerely hope that this question will be brought up by some patriotic and able member, and not allowed to rest until we obtain, with the permanent Government, a flag fit to be retained as permanent also. We think the Southern people, generally, were anxious that the Southern Cross should have been conspicuous in their flag, which form would at once dispense with the Union part of it, and all the stripes, by simply making the flag red, with a while cross, containing on it the stars of blue, thereby retaining all the three emblems of Republicans, red, white and blue. And, in the language of one of Virginia's bards--
The "Cross of the South" shall triumphantly wave,
At the flag of the free or the all of the brave!