The “Stainless Banner” over Fort Sumter… 150 years later

Browsing the Fort Sumter National Monument Facebook page this weekend, looking at postings for the 150th programs, observing the boat assault of September 8-9, 1863, this particular photo stood out:

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Yes, that is the Confederate 2nd National Flag, or “stainless banner,” flying from the main flagstaff.

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(Two photos above are from the Fort Sumter National Monument Facebook album.)

Normally the park flies both the Confederate 1st and 2nd National flags in addition to a state “Palmetto” flag and two versions of the United States flags. But the present day fifty star United States flag has the point of honor on the main flagstaff. As seen from this photo from my collection:

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But this weekend, the park flew the Confederate 2nd National from the main flagstaff. This was done in conjunction with living history programs and other interpretive events at the fort discussing the events which occurred 150 years ago (give or take a day). Readers will recall that Fort Pulaski had a similar, but protracted, display running from 2011 through April 2012. Fort Pulaski now flies the 34-star United States flag.

I think the placement of the 2nd National Flag for a particular weekend, just as with the Fort Pulaski displays, was done appropriately. The choice of a particular Confederate flag, I would think, enhanced the interpretation on those days. It offered a visitors a visual link to another time…

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150 years earlier when a similar flag flew over that fort.

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