Union Civil War Flag

Written by Donald Sparacin
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While most people can immediately recognize the Confederate Civil War flag, the Union Civil War flag is typically unrecognizable to anyone but Civil War buffs. The Union Civil War flag was the current flag of the day for the United States. It was a 34-star version of today's flag. The number of stars changed following the Civil War to 36, representing the number of states at that time.

The Union Civil War Flag in Battle

The Union Civil War flag went into battle against the forces of the Confederacy as it did in every engagement entered into by the United States. While different Union regiments also carried a representative staff featuring their particular distinctive colors, the Union Civil War flag was also carried and held highest. At the start of the Civil War, the flag of the Confederacy looked very similar to the Union Civil War flag. Upon seeing the Union Civil War flag, instead of preparing for battle many Confederate troops falsely believed that reinforcements were arriving.

The Confederacy decided to change their newly created flag to save their field troops from this confusion. Unfortunately, the change took more than two years to accomplish. It wasn't until 1863 that the new Confederate battle flag was issued to the field. But during those first two years of battle, the Union Civil War flag remained unchanged.

It is uncertain whether the confusion over the similarity between the two flags gave any real advantage to the forces of the Union, but it makes for a great story. Many people who enjoy researching the era of the Civil War also enjoy collecting flags of the day. For those people, a Union Civil War flag is an historical flag worthy of collection and display.


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