Union Army Flag: A look into the historical timeline!
The American Civil War has always gathered my attention and there were a million questions.
They emerged in my mind and were mostly unanswered because, either I was myself not open enough to ask those questions to someone or person I asked was not truly equipped with the answers.
This continued for quite some time and later when I was in class 9, I met the elder brother of my classmate Jennifer, who was in the US army. A great soldier and a great patriot by nature, her brother was quite open and frank and was always ready to help.
When he learned about my ever increasing list of questions, he offered to help me in finding the answers. He was back at home for a holiday but was happy enough to spend most of the time with me, answering my questions and introduced me to the glorious history of the USA. I was really happy to know about the Civil War and I learned about the Union Army Flag. He also introduced me to the changes that took place in the flag over the entire time frame of the Civil War.
I learned from him that the Union Army Flag went through different phases of changes throughout the period of the Civil War. Before the start of the War, the Flag had already passed through various stages of amendments and the official US Flag was taking birth.
During the Civil War, number of stars in the Union increased steadily with the secession of every single State. Until the dawn of the Civil War, the flag already had 13 stripes of red and white arranges alternately and there were 34 stars in the Union. This flag was declared as the official flag of the United States of America on 4th July 1861. The 34th start was added because of the admission of Kansas in the Union.
A couple of years later in 1863 during the Civil War, West Virginia joined the union and the official flag was amended again. The flag now had 35 stars and 13 stripes. The flag with this new addition was declared to be official on 4th July 1863.The flag once again went through a phase of change when Nevada joined the Union on 31st October 1864. The admission of the state increased the starts count to 36. Nine months later, this flag was declared as the official flag of the nation on July 4 1865.
He informed me that this did not mark the end of the amendments made to the flag. There were further changes made to the flag. In spite of the fact that the Civil War ended in 1865, the next major amendment that took place was inclusion of Nebraska in the year 1867 and the official flag now had 37 stars along with 13 red and white stripes. While he was narrating the history of the flag, one thing that I noticed was that the changes in the flag during the Civil War took place at a gap of 2 years.
However, the change immediately after the Civil War in 1867 lasted for nearly a decade and the number of stars changed to 38 with the inclusion of Colorado in the Union in 1876. The flag was however, officially accepted in the year 1877. This flag was the then longest surviving flag and represented the nation for 13 long years.
In the later years, the Union Army Flag underwent a series of changes with a record survival of 47 years after the amendment made in 1912 when the number of stars increased to 48. The current flag of United States took shape in 1960 with 50 stars and 13 stripes. The history was quite amazing and I will always be grateful to my friendís brother who spent his entire holiday with me just to eradicate my ignorance about the flag!