Bonnie Blue Flag

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For the song, see The Bonnie Blue Flag.
Bonnie Blue Flag

The Bonnie Blue Flag was an unofficial banner of the Confederate States of America at the start of the American Civil War in 1861. It consists of a single, five-pointed white star on a blue field.

History[edit]

The flag was first used by the Republic of West Florida, which broke away from Spanish West Florida in September 1810 and was annexed by the United States 90 days later.[1][2] In 2006, the state of Louisiana formally linked the name "Bonnie Blue" to the West Florida banner by passing a law designating the Bonnie Blue Flag as "the official flag of the Republic of West Florida Historic Region".[3]

The Burnet Flag (1836–1839)

The Burnet Flag was adopted by the Congress of the Republic of Texas on December 10, 1836. It consisted of an azure background with a large golden star, inspired by the 1810 Bonnie Blue Flag of the Republic of West Florida.[4] Variants of the Burnet Flag with a white star, virtually identical to the Bonnie Blue Flag, were also common. Other variants featured the star (of either color) upside down, and/or ringed with the word TEXAS, with each letter filling one of the gaps of the star.

When the state of Mississippi seceded from the Union in January 1861, they adopted a flag bearing a single white star on a blue field was flown from the capitol dome.[5]

In popular culture[edit]

In the novel Gone with the Wind (1936) by Margaret Mitchell and the 1939 film version, Rhett Butler nicknames his newborn daughter "Bonnie Blue Butler" after Melanie Wilkes remarks that her eyes were "as blue as the bonnie blue flag."[6][7]

Similar flags[edit]

The Bonnie Blue flag is similar in design to a few other official flags, although its conception is different. The flag of Somalia is almost identical, featuring a white star superimposed on a lighter blue background. The comparable flag of Vietnam features a yellow star set against a red backdrop. Similarly, the flag of the former Congo Free State and its successor the Belgian Congo had a yellow star affixed onto a dark blue field. The flag of Morocco consists of a green pentagram on a red field.

References[edit]

  1. ^ William C. Davis, The Rogue Republic: How Would-Be Patriots Waged the Shortest Revolution in American History (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011), p. 295.
  2. ^ Jeanne Frois, Flags of Louisiana (Gretna, La: Pelican Pub. Co, 1995), p. 45.
  3. ^ "2006 Louisiana Laws - RS 25:705 — Bonnie blue flag adopted". Justia US Law. Retrieved 2 Aug 2012. 
  4. ^ Allman, T.D. (2013). Finding Florida The True History of the Sunshine State (First ed.). New York: Atlantic Monthly Press. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-8021-2076-2. 
  5. ^ Jau Winik, "A New Flag for a New Mississippi," New York Times, Feb. 11, 2001, Week in Review section, p. 17.
  6. ^ Mitchell, Margaret. Gone with the Wind. 
  7. ^ Levitski, O.; Dumer, O. (Sep 2006). "Bestsellers: Color Symbolism and Mythology in Margaret Mitchell’s Novel Gone with the Wind". Americana: The Institute for the Study of American Popular Culture.