First Confederate Flag and Its Designer O.R. Smith, Louisburg
This granite memorial stands approximately five feet tall; its base stretches across approximately six feet. The monument 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.
Images (by Rusty Long): Bronze plaque | Front view of the memorial | Rear view of the memorial | Street view
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.
September 19, 1923
36.098770 , -78.300990 View in Geobrowse
"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
Daniel, Bobby. “Franklin County Courthouse In Louisburg, North Carolina,” bobbystuff.com, Oct 30, 2015, (accessed September 28, 2022) 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
Granite monument, brass plaque
Joseph J. Davis Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy
Joseph J. Davis Chapter, United daughters of the Confederacy raised in cash about $1,000. The County Commissioners subscribed the sum of $1,000.
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.
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.
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. World War II, Vietnam War and two other memorial plaques detailing the history of the Franklin County Courthouse are on the front wall of the courthouse.
Seasonal greenery is planted in front of the memorial and a few trees behind it.