Last night the Lee’s Summit Symphony Orchestra played a two hour outdoor concert of patriotic music to celebrate the 4th of July preceding the annual “Booms and Blooms” fireworks show at Powell Gardens in Kingsville, Missouri. Throughout the concert someone in the audience prominently displayed a large flag with a blue field and a single white five pointed star in front of the orchestra.
A flag with a blue field and a single white star is called the “Bonnie Blue” flag. It is most prominently known as an early flag of the confederacy.
Think about that for just a second.
Next to “Dixie’s Land,” perhaps no other song was as well loved by the Confederate soldier as “The Bonnie Blue Flag.” Written by Harry Macarthy (1834-1888) and sung to the old Irish tune “The Irish Jaunting Car,” the song lays out the order of secession of the States that went on to form the Confederacy. The first flag of the Confederacy was a single white star on a blue background. This song, especially popular in the South during the early years of the war, counts out the eleven seceding states one by one….
More on the song:
….After the Civil War and the collapse of the Confederacy, “The Bonnie Blue Flag” developed a life of its own. In the second decade of the twentieth century, the song was revived as a symbol of “Lost Cause” mentality in the midst of fifty-year commemorations of the War. During the Civil Rights era, “The Bonnie Blue Flag” once again became a song of protest, this time against the integration of public spaces. It even found its way back into the classroom, as one New Orleans resident remembers learning it in his elementary school classroom in the 1950s….
The refrain from the song [pdf]:
For Southern rights, hurrah!
Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.
We have no idea if the individual(s) who displayed the flag were aware of the history or of the symbolism implied. The flag in the photo appears to be displayed upside down (with the single point of the star pointed downward).
The only confederate flag that matters is a white rag on a stick.
Celebrating a little early (July 2, 2017)