Flag: Flag of the C.S.S. Florida
This flag is a second national Confederate flag, a pattern adopted by the Confederate Congress on May 1, 1863. The Confederate State Department was distributing scale drawings of this pattern to their European embassies by May 13th. On May 26th or 28th, the Confederate Navy Department adopted regulations altering the proportions of the ensign. While this flag conforms to those proportions, there is some speculation that construction may have begun prior to May 26/28, 1863.
In July 1863 Commander John Newland Maffitt of the C.S.S. Florida contracted yellow fever. While recuperating in Hamilton, Bermuda he was taken into the home of Mr. D. B. Heyle, a British merchant. According to his son, H. C. Heyle, "Capt. Maffit was frequently at my father's house when the "Florida" was in Bermuda & on one of his visits he told my father that he should fly the new flag, upon being told that it was my flag that was flying in front of our house (the stars & bars) he turned and told me that he would send me the new flag, which I received a few days later. The new flag was too large for me to put up in a strong wind (I was only five years of age) & was carefully put away with camphor to preserve it from moths, hence its good state of preservation. I was told to continue to fly the old one." Heyle further stated that at about the same time, his father received a silver cup from Maffitt dated July 20, 1863.
The flag was donated to the Department of Archives and History by H. C. Heyle in 1912.
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Updated: October 26, 2006