Few American flags capture the essence of the Civil War like this 35 star homemade flag, made in 1863 along the Ohio-West Virginia border to celebrate West Virginia statehood. West Virginia was born amidst the conflict of the Civil War when the northwestern counties of Virginia voted to secede from the confederacy and form a new state for the Union. This flag was flown from the Olive Green General Store in Olive Green, Ohio, a town which no longer exists. The flag, created by the Ohioans to boldly welcome their West Virginia countrymen back to the Union, stands as a testament to the tensions stirred by West Virginia’s secession. According to family lore (and apparent upon close visual inspection), the three holes to the right-center of the flag are bullet holes shot through the flag by dissenting southern sympathizers as it hung on the general store.
From the Civil War Parlor