The 2nd C.S.A. National Flag is also known as “the Stainless Banner”. The nickname “stainless” referred to the pure white field. Initial reaction to the second national flag was favorable but, over time it became criticized for being “too white”. The Columbia Daily South Carolinian observed that it was essentially a battle flag upon a flag of truce and might send a mixed message. Military officers voiced complaints about the flag being too white, for various reasons, including the danger of being mistaken for a flag of truce, especially on naval ships, and that it was too easily soiled.

One of the first official uses of this flag was to drape the coffin of General Stonewall Jackson as his body lay in state in the Confederate House of Representatives. The 2nd National flag was adopted on 1 May, 1863. Gen. Robert E. Lee also adopted this flag as his Army of Virginia Flag in the late-fall of 1863.

The flag act of 1864 did not state what the white symbolized and advocates offered various interpretations. The Confederate Congress debated whether the white field should have a blue stripe and whether it should be bordered in red. William Miles delivered a speech for the simple white design that was eventually approved. He argued that the battle flag must be used, but for a national flag it was necessary to emblazon it, but as simply as possible, with a plain white field.

Cotton. Approx 3ft by 5ft