Gen. W. L. Cabell tells how Confederate flag was devised. From Richmond, Va., news leader, November 12, 1909.Editorial in Atlanta Journal quotes Commander of Trans-Mississippi giving honor to Beauregard, Johnston and certain Ladies.
General William L. Cabell, of Dallas, Texas, the commander of the Trans-Mississippi department of the United Confederate Veterans, makes an exceedingly interesting contribution to the literature of the Conquered Banner by telling of the circumstances under which the historic emblem was adopted. The account is best rendered in the exact language of General Cabell himself. Says he:
When the Confederate army, commanded by General Beauregard, and the Federal army confronted each other at Manassas, it was seen that the Confederate flag and the Stars and Stripes looked at a distance so much alike that it was hard to distinguish one from the other. General Beauregard, after the battle of July 18th, at Blackburn Ford, ordered that a small red badge should be worn on the left shoulder of our troops, and, as I was chief quartermaster, ordered me to purchase a large quantity of red flannel and to distribute it to each regiment. During the battle of Bull Run it was plain to be seen that a large number of Federal soldiers wore a similar red badge. General Johnston and General Beauregard met at Fairfax Courthouse in the latter part of August or early September and determined to have a battle flag for every regiment or detached command. General Johnston's flag was in the shape of an eclipse-red flag with blue St. Andrew's cross and stars on the cross (white) to represent the different Southern States. (No white border  of any kind was attached to the cross.) General Beauregard's was a rectangle, red, with St. Andrew's cross and white stars, similar to General Johnston's. After we had discussed fully the two styles, taking into consideration the cost of material and the care of making the same, it was decided the ellipitcal flag would be harder to make; that it would take more cloth, and it could not be seen so plainly at a distance; that the rectangular flag, drawn and suggested by General Beauregard, should be adopted. General Johnston yielded at once. No one else was present but we three. No one knew about this flag but we three until an order was issued adopting the Beauregard flag, as it was called, and directing me, as chief quartermaster, to have the flag made as soon as it could be done. I immediately issued an address to the good ladies of the South to give me their red and blue silk dresses, and to send them to Captain Colin McRae Selph, quartermaster, at Richmond, Va. (Captain Selph is now living in New Orleans.) He was assisted by two elegant young ladies, the Misses Carey, from Baltimore, and Mrs. Henningsen, of Savannah, and Mrs. Hopkins, of Alabama. The Misses Carey made battleflags for General Beauregard and General Van Dorn, and, I think, for General J. E. Johnston. They made General Beauregard's out of their own silk dresses. This flag is now in Memorial hall, New Orleans, with a statement of that fact from General Beauregard. General Van Dorn's flag was made of heavier material, but very pretty. The statement going around that this flag was first designed by Federal prisoners is false. General Beauregard's battle flag is in Memorial hall, at New Orleans. The Washington artillery battle flag can be seen at the Washington Artillery hall.