Flag History and Restoration
by Wayne Cosby
This flag was hand sewn by the ladies of Orleans Parish as they
sent a full company (100 men) of their husbands, sons and
brothers off to war in 1861. They named themselves the Bienville
Rifles and this inscription is shown in the intricate gold
braidwork in the center white bar.
This flag is a First National Flag, commonly known as the
Stars and Bars. There are 12 stars on the canton and 2 red
and one white bar in the field. The 12 stars represent the number of
Confederate States at the time this flag was made. These Colors,
as they were called, were proudly borne throughout the War as these
Louisianians fought in the 1st Louisiana Brigade of General Robert E.
Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. The flag was saved at the end of the
war by a soldier wrapping it around his body under his clothes, to
prevent its capture.
Time and nature have not been kind to this banner. We reenactors, of
Company B, 8th Louisiana Infantry, are attempting to give something back
by restoring this honored flag and others.
It was honor, courage, devotion to duty and valor that bore these proud
banners into battle. We, as reenactors, feel that these symbols of that
honor and valor should be preserved for future generations to
appreciate. There are scores of these banners of the Confederacy in
like condition at Confederate Memorial Hall.