What does 'Bonnie Blue Flag' mean?
Find out what Bonnie Blue Flag means. Bonnie Blue Flag is explained by J D R Hawkins - author of A Beautiful Glittering Lie
Bonnie Blue FlagThis song, the "Bonnie Blue Flag," was immensely popular during the Civil War and was the South's anthem. It is in reference to the first flag of the Confederacy with the same name. The flag has a lone white star in the middle of a blue background. Lyrics to the song listed each state as they seceded from the Union and joined the Confederate cause. It is the favorite song of main character David Summers in my novel A Beautiful Glittering Lie, and is used as follows:
For a moment, all were stunned, stirred by the impressive scene, but then several started applauding enthusiastically, and the rest followed. The band broke into a jaunty rendition of the “Bonnie Blue Flag,” and a few men tossed their hats into the air. Upon the completion of the ceremony, the president was quickly surrounded by swarming admirers and the media, while the militia stood by.
Whistling the “Bonnie Blue Flag” while he removed the horses’ saddles, David curried his father’s grand stallion, Cotaco, named after a famous Indian chief who had lived in their parts long before the Trail of Tears took place. It was also the name of a creek that ran through the back end of their property. The stallion had been gifted to Hiram by an Indian acquaintance in Texas, and was a magnificent mustang, covered with brown and white splotches that transformed, if David used his imagination, into faces of people and animals. To him, Cotaco was all-knowing, and a sly devil at that. It was he who had bred with the neighbor’s prize thoroughbred mare, thus creating Renegade. The owner, Mr. Collier, insisted that David’s father purchase the foal, or “mistake” as he called him, so Hiram was obliged. He gave Renegade to David, letting him choose a name, and was teaching him how to gently break the colt.
Afterward, David excused himself to his room. He sprawled out on his bed, and began reading Ivanhoe for the third time. After a few minutes, his eyelids grew heavy. He yawned, rolled over, and unintentionally fell asleep. Above him, he could see wispy clouds that gradually morphed into the shape of a soldier. The cloud-soldier slowly raised a gun and pointed it at him. With a start, he awoke to find his room dark. Quickly shaking off the alarming dream, he went outside to feed the animals, but Rena informed him that his chores had already been done. He ambled back to his room, lit the kerosene lamp, and picked up his guitar. Perched on the edge of his bed, he gently strummed it. Already, he had managed to figure out five different chords, and could play his favorite, which was the “Bonnie Blue Flag.” For some reason, that song made him proud, not only of being a Southerner, but also for believing in the cause that his father was about to defend, even though the concept was rather vague to him. He knew a few other melodies, too: “Old Zip Coon,” “Aura Lea,” “Old Dan Tucker,” and another favorite, “Cindy.” When he had gone through his repertoire a few times, long enough for his fingertips to start hurting, he put the instrument back in the corner.
Early the following morning, the Alabamians traveled eight miles to the beat of their drums toward Seven Pines and their foe. The Stars and Bars, St. Andrews Cross, the regimental colors, and the Bonnie Blue Flag all flew gallantly above the advancing Confederates. Once they arrived, they saw that the Union army had been driven out, for all that remained were their empty tents. Throughout the course of the day, the 4th was maneuvered to different locations, but still didn’t see any fighting. By evening, they had been placed on the Richmond and York River railroad tracks. The empty camp was in a patch of woods to their left, and an active Union battery was in front of them.
David couldn’t help himself. Rebelliously, he started whistling his favorite song, the “Bonnie Blue Flag.” The soldiers stopped laughing and stared.
Four days later, Jake arrived at the Summers’ farm. Directed by Caroline to the barn, he sauntered across the yard, and heard his friend whistling the “Bonnie Blue Flag.”