Arkansas Confederate Flag Day Services
March 29, 1997
SCV members, Confederate Reenactors, UDC members, and guests attended
the annual Confederate Flag day services on the State Capitol grounds
today. The event was very successful, attendance appeared to be about
double that of last years event. Many in the crowd carried their
own flag replicas.
An honor guard took its place in front of the Confederate Monument on
the northeast corner of the Capitol grounds about 11:00 am and a large
assortment of Confederate flags were placed around the monument and on
both sides of the street. All of the Confederate national flags, the
Bonnie Blue, Van Dorn's flag (15th NW Arkansas), Cleburne's flag, 30th
Arkansas flag, and the 7th Arkansas flag were among those displayed.
As the ceremony began Confederate reenactors marched in to the sound
of the drums and came to attention to the SW of the monument. The
invocation was given, followed by a heart-moving speech by the Commander
of the Little Rock SCV camp decrying "political correctness" in favor
of "historical correctness. He called on citizens to reason together,
concentrating on those who hate rather than the flag that they have
A special guest was introduced, the great-grandaughter of the man who
designed the original Confederate flag that first flew over the
Confederate capitol at Montgomery. She is a resident of Little Rock
and received a warm round of applause from the crowd.
Two relic flags were brought forward for the crowd to view. The first
flag displayed by the honor guard was a very large battle flag of the
western design. This flag is unusual in the fact that the stars in
the St. Andrew's cross number 25 instead of the standard 13. Research
indicates that these stars represent the fact that Arkansas was the
25th State to join the Union in 1836. It is believed that this flag
was the one that flew over the United Confederate Veteran's Reunion
in Little Rock in 1911. Over 12,000 Confederate Veterans and upwards
of 100,000 other guests attended this massive reunion. The flag
probably flew over the headquarters of the convention at the Old
Statehouse. This flag is probably the inspiration for the current
Arkansas State flag design. The flag will be on display at the
Hot Springs Museum shortly. The crowd got a good look at the flag
and crowded around it for pictures and video. This flag is a
great symbol of both our Confederate Veterans and our State's
The second flag presented was the flag used by the United Confederate
Veterans Camp 991 (Van H. Manning Camp) of Malvern, Arkansas. Col.
Van Manning was commander of the 3rd Arkansas Infantry Regiment, the
only Arkansas regiment to serve with the Army of Northern Virginia
throughout the war. This flag has a special place in the heart for
those associated with the 3rd.
The balance of the event was made up of excellent speeches by the Commander
of the Military Order of the Stars and Bars and from the Arkansas
Division Commander of the SCV.
The close of the services included three volleys of musketry by the
assembled infantry and heart-pounding replies from the artillery.
The crowd then broke into an impromptu and enthusiastic rendition
of "Dixie", the perfect way to end the day.
My hat is off to those who put this event together, those who
participated, the speakers, and the honored guests. They all did
a great job and created a very memorable event. We hope to see
everyone in attendance next year.
This web page authored by Mark Gerdes.
Last updated March 31, 1997. Page and all contents Copyrightę 1996 by SCV Camp #1655, Jonesboro, Arkansas.