The Bonnie Blue Flag and Harry Macarthy

The Bonnie Blue Flag and Harry Macarthy

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Bonnie Blue Flag

The Bonnie Blue Flag is a familiar symbol of the South, especially since it was used as the official flag of Mississippi for three years and of the short-lived Republic of West Florida. It was also the inspiration for a popular song, penned by Irish troubadour Harry Macarthy, which became one of the most popular patriotic songs during America’s Civil War and was often heard being played on steamboat calliopes.URL :

While this flag was certainly associated with the Confederacy, its history goes back long before any Southern state seceded from the Union. It was first recorded in 1810 as the flag of the Republic of West Florida, a short-lived republic of English-speaking inhabitants from Alabama, Mississippi and parts of Louisiana who sought independence from the reign of the Spanish government and overthrew Governor de Lassus at Baton Rouge.

Remembering Legacy: The Bonnie Blue Flag

In September 1897, the Mississippi Historical Society’s monthly journal the Mississippi Historical Review reprinted an eyewitness account of an event that occurred just after the Convention of the People of Mississippi adopted an Ordinance of Secession on January 9, 1861:

An Irish singer and entertainer named Harry Macarthy had been present when the blue secession flag, bearing a single white star, was raised over the capitol building in Jackson. Macarthy was so impressed with this symbol of the new southern nation that he wrote a song that would link the Bonnie Blue Flag to the Confederacy forever. The song, titled “The Bonnie Blue Flag That Bears a Single Star,” quickly became the second most popular patriotic song of the Confederacy.

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