Union Flag During The Civil War
Like the many other changes that happened during the Civil War that lasted from 1861 to 1865, the Union flag also underwent many changes. On 4 July 1859, the flag that became official initially had 33 stars on it.
This flag was still in use, when the seceding of the southern states began. Soon, in 1861, after Kansas was admitted into the Union, the number of stars on the flag changed to 34. Though the southern states were in rebellion, the stars representing these states were not removed from the flag because this would mean that the Union had accepted the seceding. Hence, there were only additions that were made to the stars and no stars were removed from the flag.
Once again in 1863, there were changes in the flag when West Virginia joined the Union. Now the Union flag was made into a 35 star flag. Finally, towards the end of the war, Nevada was admitted into the Union and there were changes in the flag again.
When the Civil War started the number of stars in the flag was 33 and by the end of the war, they had gone up to 36, an indication that the number of states that had joined the Union had also gone up.
In fact, when the Civil War began, President Lincoln was given a suggestion that he should divide the Union flag diagonally in half. However, this suggestion was never implemented and though there were many changes that were made to the Union flag during the Civil War, the above mentioned changes were the most significant ones.
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