The 5th Texas Regiment had created a new and unique design for their Battle Flag. It looked like the Confederate 1st National Flag, except for one major difference. There was no circle of stars representing Confederate States, only one “lone star” in the upper corner to symbolize Texas. They called it the “Lone Star and Bars.” They kept it flying proudly until the army stepped in and declared that all battle flags be standardized to the more well known Southern Cross. The Lone Star and Bars was put into storage in a Richmond warehouse.
The Texans had grown very fond of their unique flag, and eventually found the right opportunity to bring back their beloved banner. General Hood ordered all battle flags be sent back to Richmond for updating with new Battle Honors inscriptions. Some of the determined officers managed to steal back the Lone Star and Bars and switch it with the authorized flag of the 5th when it returned.
On the following day, General Hood made a grand review of the regiment before it left camp for the Battle of Second Manassas. The color bearer kept the unauthorized flag hidden in its case. As the general inspected the line, he saw the case and ordered it opened. The beautiful Lone Star and Bars unfurled its colors as it fell from from the case.
An officer described what happened next:
“…when its beautiful folds were given to the breeze a cheer broke loose despite the fact that officers did all they could to restrain it.”
Hood was not happy, asking, “Adjutant, why do you not have your battle flag, sir?”
Regimental Adjutant Wood, one of the conspirators, replied he had not seen it since it was sent to the depot (maybe so, but he was one of the officers who had brought back the Lone Star and Bars).
Wood said that since he did not have the authorized flag, “I brought along the Lone Star flag of Texas.”
Hood replied, “I believe you know more of this than you are willing to tell.”
True, and that Lone Star and Bars Battle Flag would soon lead the regiment into some of its most famous battles of the Civil War.
Shortly after the Battle of Antietam, the Lone Star Flag of Texas went to Austin, Texas for display in the State Capitol. It eventually ended up in possession of a veteran’s group, The Hood’s Texas Brigade Association. Since 1920 it has remained in custody of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
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