Eighth Arkansas Infantry Battle Flag
My colleague Rob Baker has been doing a good job in covering the dispute over the which Confederate flag to display at the historic depot in Ringgold, Georgia. For years, the city has flown a Hardee Flag, similar in design to those used by Pat Cleburne’s troops that fought around the depot in the Battle of Ringgold Gap in November 1863. The local Sons of Confederate Veterans camp is the plaintiff in a long-running legal battle to have the more familiar Confederate Battle Flag displayed, in reference to Confederate soldiers from that area generally who served in all theaters of the war.
As it happens, on Saturday I came face-to-face with the battle flag of the Eighth Arkansas Infantry at the Texas Civil War Museum in Fort Worth, which fought at Ringgold Gap as part of Cleburne’s force. I think this flag was probably present at the fight, as it was replaced with this color of the 1864 pattern, carrying a battle honor for Ringgold Gap. It was said that the Hardee pattern had “no artistic taste about it, but which could not be mistaken” for a U.S. flag, which was a serious problem with using the Confederacy’s First National flag on the battlefield.