Under the banner of the First National

Guest blogpost: Ron Coddington | Publisher of Military Images Magazine

UNDER THE BANNER OF THE FIRST NATIONAL.—The vast majority of wartime Confederate portraits of soldiers with flags picture them with the First National banner, not the latter flag popularly known as the “Stars and Bars.” The wonderful example here is published in the current issue of Military Images, and it is part of the Dan Schwab Collection. Here’s the caption:

A small Confederate national flag rises from the cap of this soldier, a testament to his patriotism. It also distinguishes his gray shell jacket from similar styles worn by Northern militiamen from Massachusetts, Maine and Wisconsin early in the war. His jacket, with contrasting epaulettes and single button pocket, and his trousers, with a wide stripe, are characteristically Southern. He is armed with a distinctive side knife with an open guard and a Model 1842 musket.

Sixth-plate ambrotype by an anonymous photographer.

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