The “Stars and Bars”

We know it today as “the Confederate flag,” “the Confederate battle flag,” or as the “Stars and Bars,” but, technically, all of those names are incorrect.

The real “Stars and Bars” served as the national flag of the Confederate States of America from March 1861 until May 1863, and was chosen because of its resemblance to the U.S. national flag, commonly called the Stars and Stripes.

First National FlagThe Confederate Congress adopted the first national flag—the real stars and bars—in March 1861. An unidentified military unit carried this flag in battle.
ACWM Collections, 1996.5.1

Tobacco BoxManufactured in 1926, this box for “Stars and Bars” chewing tobacco reveals that the tendency to confuse the nickname of the Confederate first national flag with the image of the battle flag is not new.
Private Collection