previous next

Confederate Congress.
first session.

Senate. Saturday, April 19, 1862.
Mr. Semmes, from the joint Committee of Congress on Flag and Seal, submitted the following report:

To the Honorable the Senate and Congress of the Confederate States:

The joint Committee on Flag and Seal submit to the judgment of Congress the accompanying design of a flag, and recommend its adoption as the flag of the Confederate States of America.

The considerations which influenced the committee in selecting the proposed design, were:

  1. 1st. Its want of resemblance to the flag of any other nation.
  2. 2d. The distinctness of its colors, rendering it discernable at a distance.
  3. 3d. Its simplicity, and consequent facility of fabrication for an emergency.
  4. 4th. Its conformity to the proprieties of heraldry.
  5. 5th. Its symbolization of the characteristics of a free and prosperous people.
Ancient heralds, in their quaint language, would describe this flag as ‘"on a field rules saltier argent, with a shield azure charged with a sun in his glory or."’

The red field denotes martial prowess, boldness, courage, valor. The saltier (‘"an honorable ordinary in heraldry,"’) is the emblem of progress and strength — its white indicating purity, innocence and gentleness. The blue of the shield represents justice, faith, perseverance and vigilance. The sun manifests the dominion, generosity and stability of the Confederacy.

Nearly all the designs submitted to the committee contained a combination of stars. This heraldic emblem, however, has been discarded, as a manifestation of our entire and absolute severance from the ‘"United States,"’ and the complete annihilation of every sentiment indicating the faintest hope of reconstruction.

(Signed) Hy. J. Semmes,

Chairman on the part of the Senate.

Alex. R. Boteler,

Chairman on the part of the House of Representatives.

The report was read, and laid on the table for the present, and ordered to be printed.

Mr. Semmes then offered the following, which, after being read, was postponed for consideration till 12 o'clock:

A joint resolution Adopting the flag of the Confederate States of America.

Resolved, by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the flag of the Confederate States shall be as follows: A red field charged with a white saltier, having in the centre the device of a sun in his glory, on an azure shield, the rays of the sun corresponding with the number of the States composing the Confederacy.

Bills passed.

The Senate passed the following bills:

The House bill supplemental to a bill to encourage the manufacture of saltpetre and small arms was taken up and passed. The bill authorizes the President to contract for coal six years ahead for the use of foundries and other Government works.

House bill providing for the enlistment of white or black or free or bond cooks in the army, was also passed. Under its operation four cooks are allowed to each company.

Also passed House bill re-enacting the laws of the United States, regulating the transmission of mailable matter by express and other companies.

House bill to provide for an increase of the Quartermaster and Commissary clerks was referred to the Committee of Military Affairs.

The House bill appropriating one million and a half of dollars for the construction of a railroad (regarded as a military necessity,) between Galveston, Texas, and New Orleans, after being rejected, was reconsidered and passed — yeas 12, nays 9.

Also, passed House bill to establish certain post routes in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.

House bill was taken up to provide for the organization of partizan rangers — authorizing the President to commission officers to recruit and enlist partizan rangers, who shall be regularly received into the service, subjected to existing laws, and who shall be paid for all arms, stores and goods they may capture from she enemy.

Mr. Burnett, of Ky., spoke in favor of the general principles of the bill, but he moved to strike out the 2d section, in relation to allowing volunteers from those already enrolled or mustered into service.

The bill was opposed by Mr. Preston, who urged that it would conflict with the bill last passed by the Congress for the public defence.

Applause in the galleries.

Mr. Burnett again spoke in favor of irregular warfare, and contrasted its advantage in a striking manner with the more regular tactics of West Point. His remarks were of such a character as to elicit a thunder of applause from some soldiers in the gallery.

The President problem (Mr. Ore) desired the gentleman to cease, and instantly ordered the disorderly persons in the gallery to be removed by the Sergeant-at-Arms.

Mr. Wigfall, of Texas.--I hope, Mr. President, we will do more than turn them out. Applause in the galleries of the Senate is something that might be expected from the mob at Washington, but which I did not think could occur in this country, and it should be punished on the first offence.

Mr. Clark, of Mo.--Oh no, do not be harsh with it. It was merely admiration of excellent sentiments expressed out of time and place, and perhaps inexpressible.

Mr. Yancey himself approved the sentiment, and urged the gentleman from Texas to make some little allowances for liberty.

Mr. Wigfall--Yes; but if you permit applause you will afterwards have to endure hisses, and moreover I want it distinctly understood that this is no public arena.

Several gentlemen interjected remarks in behalf of forgiveness for this, the first offence, and finally Mr. Wigfall acquiesced, contenting himself with having brought the matter to the notice of the Senate. Section second of the bill was stricken out, and the act was passed.

The Senate soon after took a recess till 7½ o'clock P. M. The evening session was with closed doors.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Wigfall (3)
J. Semmes (3)
House (2)
Burnett (2)
Yancey (1)
Preston (1)
Ore (1)
Clark (1)
Alexander R. Boteler (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
April 19th, 1862 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: