Union and Confederate Symbols

The Rebel States. Alabama [graphic]

“The Rebel States – Alabama,” 1861, Published by Reagles & Co., New York, New York. Gift of William Caleb Loring, 33°, A85/012/0856.

Both Union and Confederate flags feature prominently on many of these envelopes. The first flag used by the Confederate states from 1861-1863 is often referred to as the “Stars and Bars,” and featured three horizontal stripes, alternating red and white, with a blue square containing white five-pointed stars as the canton. The New York-based publisher Reagles & Co. published a series of envelopes with satirical illustrations featuring the “Loyal” Northern states, as well as the “Rebel” Southern states. The Rebel states series depict a bat-winged devil carrying a shield, whereas the Loyal states series highlights a woman holding a U.S. flag topped with a liberty cap, a symbol of freedom.