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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    First Confederate Flag and Its Designer O.R. Smith, Louisburg

  • Type

    Fountain

  • Subjects

    Civil War, 1861-1865

  • City

    Louisburg

  • County

    Franklin

  • Description

    This granite sculpture stands approximately five feet tall; its base stretches across approximately six feet. The sculpture consists of three columns, a tall middle column ending in a pointed cap flanked by two shorter columns topped by granite bowls to hold water fountains. One, chiseled in granite, was labeled "White People," and the other, "Colored People." Carved into the wide middle column is a seven-starred confederate flag which appears to blow in the wind. Below the flag sits a brass plaque which is inscribed with the text below.

  • Inscription

    ERECTED SEPTEMBER 1923 / BY / THE NORTH CAROLINA DIVISION / UNITED DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY / IN APPRECIATION OF THE FACT / THAT THE FIRST FLAG OF THE CONFEDERACY / "THE STARS AND BARS" / WAS DESIGNED BY A SON OF NORTH CAROLINA / ORREN RANDOLPH SMITH / AND MADE UNDER HIS DIRECTION BY / CATHERINE REBECCA (MURPHY) WINBORNE. / FORWARDED TO MONTGOMERY, ALA. FEB 12, 1861, / ADOPTED BY THE PROVISIONAL CONGRESS MARCH 4, 1861, / FIRST DISPLAYED IN NORTH CAROLINA AT LOUISBURG / MARCH 18, 1861

  • Dedication Date

    September 19, 1923

  • Decade

    1920s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    36.098770 , -78.300990 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Confederate Monument in Front of Franklin County Courthouse," Flickr, (accessed May 17, 2012) Link

      "First Confederate Flag Marker and Monument, Louisburg, North Carolina," Waymarking.com, (accessed January 31, 2011) Link

      Confederate Veteran 19 (1911), 520 Link

      The Stars and Bars, (S.l. : s.n., 1918?), (accessed May 16, 2012) Link

      North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. "North Carolina Civil War Monuments, Confederate Memorial Drinking Fountain, Louisburg" (accessed June 17, 2014) Link

      United Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Division. Minutes of the Nineteenth Annual Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy North Carolina Division, Held at Charlotte, North Carolina, October 6, 7, 8, 1915 (Wilmington, N.C: Wilmington Stamp and Printing Company), 60, (accessed September 7, 2012) Link

      United Daughters of the Confederacy. History of the Stars and Bars, (Raleigh, NC: Edwards & Boughton Printing Co., 1913), (accessed May 16, 2012) Link

      “Unveil Fountain To Designer Of Confederate Flag,” The Robesonian (Lumberton, NC), September 24, 1923

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Granite monument, brass plaque

  • Sponsors

    Joseph J. Davis Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy

  • Monument Cost

    Joseph J. Davis Chapter, United daughters of the Confederacy raised in cash about $1,000. The County Commissioners subscribed the sum of $1,000.

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    Angus William McLean was orator for the day. Three of Smith’s grandsons and a granddaughter performed the unveiling. A rebel yell was given to Smith’s memory as his last surviving brother unfurled a replica of the flag.

  • Subject Notes

    The monument memorializes the creator of the first official flag of the Confederate States of America (which is distinct from the battle flag), Orren Randolph Smith, who was a citizen of North Carolina. Smith’s flag was first flown in the courthouse square of Louisburg, NC, on March 18, 1861. Modern scholars think it is more likely that Nicola Marschall, an artist on the faculty of Marion Female Seminary in Marion, Ala., submitted the favored design. Another memorial to Smith and the First Confederate Flag can be found at Calvary Episcopal Church in Fletcher, NC.

  • Location

    The monument is located directly in front of the Franklin County Courthouse at 102 N. Main St., Louisburg NC, facing Main Street. It stands between the United States and North Carolina flags.

  • Landscape

    Seasonal greenery is planted in front of the memorial and a few trees behind it.

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