Memorial Flag

The Confederate flag was rarely seen during postwar Reconstruction, but white southerners resurrected it as they regained power in their states. For most of the era between the end of Reconstruction and World War II, the Confederate national flags, regimental colors, and the ANV battle flags were common sights at Confederate veterans reunions, monument unveiling ceremonies, and observations of Confederate birthday and anniversary events. Then, and in subsequent decades, prominent African-Americans found such displays divisive and threatening.

Images:Flags at reunion
Veterans and their families smiled while holding the flags at a reunion in Norfolk, Virginia.
ACWM Collection, 1957.36.2

Memorial Day, ca. 1935
A Memorial Day speaker delivers a speech from a podium decorated with a single Confederate flag.
ACWM Collection, CMLS Scrapbook

Remembering the dead of all wars
Men and women stand at attention while a bugler plays taps at a memorial service for the dead of  the Civil War, Spanish-American War, and World War, in Richmond, 1940.
ACWM Collection, CMLS Scrapbook

John Mitchell, Jr’s objection
John Mitchell, editor of Richmond’s African-American weekly paper, The Planet, was one of a few voices who warned that the display of Confederate flags represented a backward step for a reunited nation.
Chronicling America newspaper database, The Library of Congress