Sunday, May 6, 2012

In The Flag Line

The Berthold Mansion Flag
Image by Rob Raeside

Our citizens displayed much taste yesterday in the flag line.  Quite a spirited competition was kept up during the day between different parties, whose only ambition seemed to be to hang out the oldest piece of cloth.  The Union men, who have the State Convention under their especial charge, flung to the breeze the time-worn Star-Spangled Banner, across the Mercantile Library Hall to the opposite side of the street.  It wafted proudly and gloriously, and thrilled the heart of every true lover of his country that gazed upon it.  Other American flags were displayed at different points in the city by patriotic citizens. 
The Missouri Minute-Men flaunted from their Headquarters, corner of Fifth and Pine streets, a singular piece of patch-work, which excited much interest.  It reminded one very strikingly of a fancy patch-work quilt, manufactured by a young miss of thirteen summers for the premium at a County Fair.  This quilt, however, we judge, would not even be entered as a competitor for the second premium.  If it was intended as a burlesque on  the Palmetto flay, it was a good one; but if the author and finisher of this cloth supposed he was making a genuine States-rights-Palmetto-Southern-Confederacy flag, he is vastly mistaken.  The ground work of the flag was nearly black; on one corner was a crescent, in the centre a cross turned upside down, and in the other corner a single star-a bad looking star-in fact the whole thing was ill-starred.  Whether admirable or not, this singular looking flag drew a very large crowd of persons around it, some of whom wanted to pull it down, but no one seemed to have the audacity to attempt it. 
Another flag was seen floating from the Courthouse dome at a very early hour, which some of the Republican officials seeing, supposed to be a secession banner.  Mr. James Quigley, the accomplished keeper of the Courthouse, was immediately ordered to go up and pull it down.  He did as commanded, but the flag turned out to be a very innocent affair after all-nothing but the coat-of-arms of the State of Missouri pinned to a piece of yellow muslin...
-Missouri Republican, March 5, 1861

The Republican's account of the flag affair makes it seem like a whole lot of nothing, although they were not privy to the overall plan of Duke and the Minute Men.  Still, it's very possible that Duke may have overstated the nature of the affair.

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