The following story of the origin of the ANV Battleflag may be apocryphal, but, if not, it is very interesting.
While doing some research at the University of Southern Mississippi yesterday, I ran across a volume entitled "A Civil War Treasury of Tales, Legends, and Folklore," by B.A. Botkin. (Forgot to get the copyright date.)
In this volume, there is a two-plus page article entitled "Beauregard and the Confederate Battleflag," apparently taken from a book entitled "Detailed Minutiae of a Soldier's Life in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861-1865," by Carlton McCarthy (Richmond: Carlton McCarthy & Co., 1882, pp. 219-223).
According to the article, Beauregard originally proposed that the ANV Battleflag be comprised of a BLUE field, a RED cross, and GOLD stars.
Conferring with Col. William Porcher Miles, Miles supposedly told Beauregard that a BLUE field and GOLD stars went against all rules of heraldry, and suggested instead that the flag consist of the now familiar RED field, BLUE cross/saltire, and WHITE stars.
What makes all of this interesting to me is the occurence, later in the war, of the Havana or Trans-Mississippi or Taylor Battleflag, which features the reversed colors: BLUE field and RED cross.
It is generally believed by flag experts that these Havana Battle reversed colors resulted from expatriate Confederate ladies in Havana receiving unclear instructions regarding the colors of the differing parts of the flag.
If the Beauregard-Miles story above is true (and it may well NOT be true), it makes me wonder whether the Havana ladies might not have gotten their description of the ANV Battleflag's coloration from someone familiar with Beauregard's originally suggested color scheme, rather than some later, unspecified source that mangled the color details.
Anybody have any thoughts? Thanks! -- Jim Huffman, MS Division, SCV, "Save the Battleflags" Committee
PS: If this story has circulated on the board before, please excuse me, as this is the first time I've run across it!