A Confederate Bible Flag

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Grantham Bible Flag

Bible flags are tiny flags made for a soldier by a loved one and presented as a token of pride and affection when he went away for war. Bible flags were most often made of ladies’ dress silk or dress ribbon. They were typically carried in a Bible, both because that was the safest place that a soldier might keep a flat, treasured object it and because it also served as a bookmark. This Confederate 1st national format (Stars & Bars) Bible flag was constructed of silk and entirely hand-sewn. It belonged to Sgt. Joseph L. Grantham Of The 16th Va Infantry and was mailed home to his fiancée (later wife), Miss Lydia A. Grantham, of Middleway, Virginia (later West Virginia). Bible flags are found in all shapes and sizes, and with every star configuration imaginable, but most are small enough to fit in a small Bible, such as a soldier might carry on his person. There was no standard size, however, and sometimes they were larger. Many were small enough to fit in a Civil War cover (a small 19th century envelope used for correspondence in that period) and were mailed to a loved one in the field.

Tomorrow: The Iwo Jima Duo         Rita Bay

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