Describe "stars and bars", why was it unique?

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enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The "Stars and Bars" was the first official flag of the Confederate States of America designed by Nicola Marschal (1829-1917) a Prussian who had immigrated to the States in the 1840's.  He is also credited with the design of the Confederate Uniform, and became known as "The Artist of the Confederacy." The flag he designed was similar to the early "Stars and Stripes" of the North, having a circle of 7 white stars in a blue field with 2 red and 1 white stripe.  However, these flags have varying numbers of stars representing the Confederate States; "Irredentism" affected Confederate flag design; flags often contained stars for territory that was coveted, but not under actual Confederate control.

Seven states had seceded by the time the flag was designed; additional states and territories were added as stars as they in turn seceded, bringing the highest total of stars on the flag to 18. These included Maryland and Delaware, which the South considered part of the Confederacy, as well as several Indian tribes that joined as well!  However, many flag-makers only included states that had Confederate governments within their own boundaries, and this disqualified those 2 states as well as Missouri and Kentucky, which were overrun by the North. 

Of the surviving Stars and Bars, forty-one percent of these first Confederate Flags have 11 stars.