Buckner's 1909 remembrances are not a very strong tie. In the interview he remembered wrongly the organization of the army. He also said, "my wife made a flag for each regiment there at Bowling Green with her own hands." Fact is Mrs. Samuel Blackburn and her daughters did considerable work in turning out these flags. Three of Buckner's regiments, at Fort Donelson, the 3rd, 18th, and 32nd Tennessee, surrendered 1st Nationals. I never discount the recollections of old veterans but one must always take their recollections at only a small part of the overall picture and attempt through cross referencing to determine something close to truth.
McGuire, John Francis. The Irish in America. London: Longmans, Green and Co.,1868. 650; Appendix I, by Hardee, William J. "Biographical Sketch of maj. Gen. P.R. Cleburn." Gen. Hardee stated, in 1868, "Prior to the battle of Shiloh, a blue battle flag had been adopted by me for this division." I found a microfishe copy of the above work at Winthop University, Rock Hill, S.C. It is a glorious account of the Irish and their influence on America. I would suspect that you could find one at any good university.
I saw below where the artifact-chasing bean counter has labelled my opinions as "rubbish." That's just not nice, but I have come to expect as much. So I'll address a few of his complaints.
Hardee/Hardy is as Irish as can be as was the General. No he was not born in Ireland (I did not say he was) but was certainly Irish, as are their descendants today.
No one disputes the Irish symbolism that cannot be argued with, i.e. the green flag, the harp, "ERIN GO BRAUGH" and the like. The full moon is every bit as Irish as the harp.
"Irish lore!" The great rebellion of '98 was hardly Irish lore. It was blood-bought history carried in every Irish heart east and west of the Atlantic.
From "A United Irish Catechism" (1798)
Q. What is that in your hand?
A. It is a branch.
Q. Of what?
A. Of the Tree of Liberty.
Q. Where did it grow?
A. In America.
Q. Where does it bloom?
A. In France.
Q. Where did the seed fall?
A. In Ireland.
Q. When will the moon be full?
A. Where the four quarters meet.
Hence the term "At the Rising of the Moon." It was not an astronomical symbol, but a political one denoting the four quarters of Ireland coming together in a unified army to expel their British overlords.
The Irish never forgot, never forget, and today the Republic of Ireland stands among the world's nations.
It is well known that I am an advocate also of the St. Andrew's cross and the affection held for it by the Confederate forces. One very pure one existed for awhile in the Army of E. Tennessee under Gen. McCown, a man of Scottish heritage who used the flag for his division at Murfreesboro. No, all of his soldiers were not Scotsmen, but he was. And they learned to love their flag.
As I stated, it is my belief that flags are symbols of the heart and soul of the army. There is a group of folks, mostly yankees, the individuals of which call themselves "we," who seem to be attempting with great effort and argument to reduce our flags to mere fabric artifacts. No soul. No link with the bravery of their forebears. Just a colored rag to mark the center of the battle line. Watch out for them. The use of sarcasm, scorn, and humiliating terms does not make them right.
On the matter of the full moon flag's origin, there is no verifiable history, no "smoking gun," and one man's opinion is pretty much as good as another's.
As I said, I like mine.