Nice to hear from you. No worries (as they say in Australia) about the tempo of discussion with regards to these flags - you should try going to a professional historians conference sometime - this was lame by comparison! More below:
>>>>>Here's my next question that I hope won't be as adversarial. Is there any evidence as to why Belle Edmondson used the white Latin cross/blue field/red trim for the flags received by Price's infantry division in April 1863? Was this a pattern selected by Price? Was there a reason for the Latin crosses being placed on red fields for the Confederate Missourians at Vicksburg, while the Confederate Missourians in the Trans-Mississippi had the crosses on a blue field?>>>>>
To my knowledge, Price had no clue that Belle was sending this design and letter to him. Her diary does not show this nor does the correspondence back to her from Price, which I got from her papers in the University of Mississippi. Glenn is probably quite correct that she chose this flag because of her faith and that the Southern cause was a manifestation of that faith to her. This is why, as Glenn pointed out, that you do have some flags with Christian/Latin crosses on them from the war, most commonly the flags for Price/Bowen's troops (also, it seems, used at least by Carter Stevenson's Divison at Vicksburg based on a survivng flag, period correspondence and the surrender woodcut - but of a red color) and John Breckinridge's Division, the former Reserve Corps from Shiloh, which was the only corps there to not have its own distinctive battle flag pattern.
I have a copy of Belle's drawing and she put stars within the cross itself, which is what the flags of Breckinridge ended up being like - blue field, red cross with white stars within the cross. They are also larger than the Price/Bowen flags, the latter also having borders. The flags of the Price/Bowen pattern are all blue with white cross and red border - these are for the Feb. 1863 issues and the ones for Price's 1864 Campaign. The red flags of this design come from Carter Stevenson's Division, sent to Vicksburg just before the Battle of Murfreesboro from the Army of Tennessee. The flag of the 39th Georgia of this division survives today and it has the red field with white cross. We think, but cannot prove, that the border was yellow. (The border for this flag does not survive).
Why did Price drop the stars? He does not state in his letter of thanks to Belle, but it might have been due to lack of time and materials to get these flags made and out into the field.
>>>>Your statement regarding the flag that was drawn on a letter from a member in the 27th Arkansas peeked my curiosity. Are you aware of the description of these flags by C.B. Lotspeich, a member of the 16th Missouri Infantry? >>>>
I know the 16th Missouri has a surviving flag of the Price/Bowen pattern but I don't have anything with regards to this soldier's description. Would you be so kind as to post it here for us? That would be great.
The letter from the Arkansas solider proves my point that I made with Glenn with regards to flags with Christian/Latin crosses on them - that for some Southerners these flags did have deep meaning, while for others, they were a severe misuse of the symbol of their church, or in the case of the Arkansas man, a symbol of Catholicism. I must admit, even being Methodist, that this letter, and a few that I have come across like it from the period, was very eye-opening to me with regards to one branch of Christianity lambasting another branch even though both use the exact same symbol for the exact same reason!
And it also proves, once again, as anyone born or raised in the South knows or soon learns, that not all Southerners think exactly alike about lots of stuff - and if you want proof watch SEC football games!
Hope this helps.