Flags of the Confederacy

The Confederacy had many flags. There were national flags, flags for generals, and even flags for Indian tribes that fought with the South. In this post I’ll include the most well-known flags and maybe some flags you didn’t know about.

Categories

Battle Flag

Confederate Battle Flag.

The Confederate Battle Flag was the main flag flown in battle during the Civil War for the CSA. It is modernly known simply as “The Confederate Flag” but was never an official flag of the South. The 13 stars on this banner are for the 11 states that seceded and for Kentucky and Missouri, who although didn’t secede, sympathized with the South.

National Flags

1st National Flag (Stars and Bars)

1st National Flag.

The Stars and Bars was the first national flag of the Confederacy and was used from the beginning of the war until 1863 when it was replaced by the 2nd National Flag or “Stainless Banner.” The flag above is also the first version of flag. The seven stars represent the first 7 states to secede from the Union. The flag evolved until it had 13 stars for the 11 states of the Confederacy and 2 stars for Missouri and Kentucky. This flag caused confusion at the First Battle of Manassas and in some of the early battles of the war for looking like the American flag.

2nd National Flag (Stainless Banner)

2nd National Flag.

The Stainless Banner was the official flag of the South from 1863-1865. As well as being known as the Stainless Banner, the 2nd national is also known as the “White Man’s Flag.” and “Jackson’s Flag” because it draped General Stonewall Jackson’s coffin. Being white except for the Battle Flag in the upper left-hand corner, it was replaced in the last year of the war, by the “Blood-Stained Banner”, for looking too much like a flag of surrender.

3rd National Flag (Blood-Stained Banner)

3rd National Flag.

The third and final national flag of the Confederacy, the Blood-Stained Banner, replaced the 2nd national on March 4, 1865. It was meant to look less like a flag of surrender by adding a large red stripe on the right of the banner, but sadly it was adopted too late in the war for many to reach the field before Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.

Bonnie Blue Flag

The Bonnie Blue Flag.

Although never an official national flag, during the Civil War this white star with the blue background was a common and popular symbol for secession, the Confederacy, and the Southern cause.

State Flags

Original South Carolina Secession Flag

Flag of South Carolina after secession.

This flag was used as national flag of The Independent Commonwealth of South Carolina after its secession in 1860, but was changed after Mississippi’s secession in January 1861.

South Carolina State Flag

Flag of South Carolina.

This is the flag of South Carolina after replacing the original and is also the modern state’s flag. The crescent moon is a symbol for liberty and the palmetto tree is the state tree of South Carolina.

Mississippi Flag

Flag of Mississippi.

Before Mississippi seceded from the Union in 1861, they didn’t have a state flag. When Mississippi left the Union a Bonnie Blue Flag was raised over the state capitol. The flag has a magnolia tree because of Mississippi being known as “The Magnolia State” and features a Bonnie Blue Flag in upper left-hand corner.

Original Florida Secession Flag

Original flag of Florida.

This flag was the provisional state flag of Confederate Florida from January to September 1861. In the upper left-hand corner is a Bonnie Blue Flag and 13 stripes, the same number of stripes as the United States flag, which represents the 13 original colonies of the Unites States.

Florida Flag

Flag of Florida.

The state flag of Florida was adopted on September 17, 1861 as the official flag of the state of Florida. On the left there’s a cannon with other Confederate flags sitting on the banks of the Gulf of Mexico and the stripes on the right are in the same pattern on the 1st National Flag.

Alabama Flag

Flag of Alabama.

The official flag of the Confederate state of Alabama, adopted on January 11, 1861. The flag features the Goddess of Liberty holding a sword and flag that says “Alabama” on it and the words “Independent Now and Forever” written above.

Georgia Flag

Flag of Georgia.

Although never official, this flag was the recognized state flag of Georgia from 1861 to 1865. The words Justice, Wisdom, and Moderation are wrapped around three pillars and Constitution is written on the roof above.

Louisiana Flag

Flag of Louisiana.

The flag was adopted as the state flag of Louisiana was adopted on February 11, 1861 after its secession. The 13 stripes represent the original 13 colonies of America and blue, white, and red stripes stand for hope, virtue, and valor.

Texas Flag

State flag of Texas.

This banner was the state flag of Texas before, after, and during the Civil War. This flag and variants similar to this were also flown in battle during the war. It’s also known as the “Lone Star Flag” because of its single star, which represents the State and Republic of Texas (1836-1846).

Texas Secession Flag

Texas Secession Flag.

This flag was a symbol of Texas secession during the debate for Texas joining the Confederacy before the war began.

Virginia Flag

Virginia Flag.

This was the state flag of Virginia during the War of Northern Aggression. Pictured is the Roman Goddess of Virtue trampling on a tyrant king. “Sic Semper Tyrannis” in Latin means “Death Always to Tyrants.”

Arkansas Flag

Arkansas flag.

During the Civil War, Arkansas didn’t have a official state flag or a non-official one. This is the modern state flag of Arkansas, but this flag was used by some Arkansas regiments during the war.

North Carolina Flag

North Carolina Flag.

This was the official flag of North Carolina during the war. Its very similar to the flag of North Carolina today. The top date on the flag is when they seceded from Britain and the bottom is when they seceded from the United States. It was adopted after their secession and served as the first state flag of North Carolina.

Tennessee Flag

Tennessee Flag.

This was the state flag of Tennessee during the War Between the States. The flag has the same stripe pattern as many other Southern flags and in the corner has a seal that says “Agriculture and Commerce.”

Missouri Flag

1st Missouri Cavalry Regiment (Confederate) - Wikipedia
Missouri Flag.

Since it didn’t secede, Missouri didn’t have an official Confederate state flag. This flag was used in battle by Confederate Missouri regiments during the Vicksburg Campaign and elsewhere and is the closest thing to a Confederate Missouri state flag. The flag contains a cross on a blue background trimmed in red.

Kentucky Flag

Kentucky Flag.

Kentucky didn’t secede either but this flag was used by Kentucky regiments and Confederate Kentuckians to symbol rebellion. It features a red cross containing 13 stars, which symbolizes the 13 southern states, in a field of blue.

Maryland Flag

List of Maryland Confederate Civil War units - Wikipedia
Maryland Flag.

Although Maryland wasn’t one of the 13 southern states, it was still important to the Confederate cause. Known as the “Crossland Banner” this flag was flown by Confederate Marylanders. This banner makes up half of the modern Maryland flag. The other half is a yellow and black symbol that was flown by Marylanders were fought with the Union.

Non-Official State Flags of the Confederacy

Although these flags were not official state flags, they are modernly displayed as Confederate symbols for much of the South. Mostly flags like these include one part of a state’s flag, thrown together with the Battle Flag.

South Carolina

A modern flag for Confederate South Carolina.

Including the palmetto, crescent moon, and Battle Flag, this is a newly created South Carolinian Confederate flag.

Mississippi

The former state flag of Mississippi.

Mississippi had used this banner as its state flag, although in different color shades, since 1894 until recently being changed earlier this year for being offensive because it contained a Battle Flag.

Florida

A Confederate flag similar to the modern state flag of Florida.

Instead of having a Battle Flag in the backdrop of the state seal, the modern flag of Florida just features a red cross with a white background, which symbolizes the Spanish Empire, who controlled most of Florida until shortly after the Revolutionary War.

Alabama

A modern Alabama Confederate flag having a Battle Flag and the seal of Alabama.

Like other flags in this category, this flag has a Battle Flag on the right and Alabama’s state seal on the left.

Georgia

A Georgia flag from 1956 until 2001.

Georgia and Mississippi are the only two US states that used to have a Battle Flag on their state flag. This was actually the official state flag of Georgia from 1956 until 2001 and features the seal of Georgia on the left and a Battle Flag on the right.

Louisiana

A Louisiana Confederate flag.

On the left, this flag has the pelican from the modern Louisiana state flag, except with a red background instead of blue, and on the right is the battle flag of the Army of Trans-Mississippi.

Texas

A Texas flag.

On the left of this flag is the Texas Lone Star, which can also be interpreted as the star on the Bonnie Blue Flag, and on the right is the very familiar Battle Flag.

Virginia

A Virginia flag.

The seal on the left of this flag is the same one featured on the modern Virginia flag and is similar to the one on the Confederate Virginia state flag.

Arkansas

Arkansas Flag.

This flag has the modern symbol of the state of Arkansas is middle and the Battle Flag in the background.

North Carolina

A North Carolina flag.

This flag features the Battle Flag and the dates of NC secession from Britain and when they allied themselves with the other 12 American colonies.

Tennessee

A Tennessee flag.

This flag has the symbol on Tennessee’s modern flag in the middle with a Battle Flag.

Flags of the Five Civilized Indian Tribes and the Confederate Irish

From 1861 to 1865 the the Southern states fought alongside Five Civilized Tribes of Indians these being, the Cherokee, Choctaw, Seminiole, Creek, and Chickasaw. Irish immigrants fleeing the Irish Potato Famine also fought alongside Southerners during the war.

Cherokee

Flag of Cherokee Confederates.

Flag of Confederate Cherokee Indians during the Civil War. This flag was the battle flag of Cherokee General Stand Watie, who fought in the Western Theater of the war, but was also used by other Cherokees. The five red stars represent the five tribes and the 11 stars represent the 11 Confederate states.

Choctaw

Flag of the Choctaw tribe.

The Choctaw were the first Indian tribe to adopt an official flag. This was their flag during the Civil War and the center symbol of this flag is still their seal today.

Seminole

Seminole flag.

A flag for the Seminole tribe that was was used during the war.

Creek

Creek flag.

Very similar to the flag above, this was the flag of the Creek or Muscogee Indian tribe from Oklahoma.

Chickasaw

The Chickasaw didn’t have their own flag during the 1860s so many of them fought under the Choctaw flag.

Confederate Irish

Flag of Irish Confederates.

This was the main flag for Irish Confederates. Other flags contained the harp and the green background, but had something unique around the harp.

Flags of Armies and Generals

Lee’s Headquarters

Flag of Lee’s Headquarters.

This flag flew over General Robert E. Lee’s camps and headquarters. It was designed by his wife and stars represent the Arch of the Covenant.

Flag of General John Bell Hood

Hood's Texas Brigade "SEVEN PINES" flag 1st Texas Regiment ...
Flag of General Hood.

This flag was used by General Hood of the Texas Brigade. Seven Pines and Gaines Farm were part of the Seven Days Battles where Hood’s men fought in Northern Virginia. Later on two more battles were added onto the flag, Eltham’s Landing and Malvern Hill.

Flag of General William J. Hardee

Flag of General Hardee.

This was the flag of General Hardee during his time with the Confederacy. Hardee had served in US Army during the Second Seminole War and the Mexican-American War. He commanded the First Corps of the Army of Tennessee and served in Western Theater and Carolinas Campaign.

Flag of General Leonidas Polk

Flag of General Polk.

This was the battle flag of North Carolinian Confederate General Leonidas Polk. Polk was the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana, the founder of the Protestant Church of the Confederate States of America, and the Second Cousin of American President James K. Polk. This flag pattern is used in other flags and is known as the Polk Flag Pattern. The 11 stars are for the 11 states of the Confederacy. Polk would later be killed in action on June 14, 1864.

Flag of General Nathan Bedford Forrest

Flag of General Forrest.

This flag was flown by Forrest’s Calvary Corps during the Civil War. You may notice that there’s a star missing in the center of the flag and it’s still debated which state wasn’t included today.

Flag of General Earl Van Dorn

Flag of General Van Dorn.

Earl Van Dorn was a Confederate general from Mississippi and commanded the Trans-Mississippi District. He fought with distinction in the Mexican War and served in Arkansas and Tennessee during the Civil War. He lost to smaller Union forces on numerous occasions and was about to overcome his setbacks when he was killed by a doctor in May 1863 who claimed that Van Dorn had participated in an affair with his wife. The 13 stars on the flag stand for the 13 Southern states and the crescent moon is a symbol for liberty.

Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia

Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia.

The battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia was used by the Confederate generals Robert E. Lee, J. E. Johnston, P. G. T. Beauregard, J. E. B. Stuart, and Stonewall Jackson. Yellow, orange, and white bunting was also used during the years of the war.

Flag of the Army of Trans-Mississippi

Flag of the Army of Trans-Mississippi.

This flag served as the flag of the Army of Trans-Mississippi during the Civil War. The flag has the opposite colors of the normal Battle Flag having a red cross and a blue background. The Trans-Mississippi Theater of the Civil War consisted of three Confederate states Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas.

Flag of the Army of Kentucky

Flag of the Army of Kentucky.

The Army of Kentucky was one of the Confederate armies during the Confederate Heartland Offensive in which the Confederates tried to liberate Kentucky from Union occupation. After the offensive failed, the army was incorporated into the Army of Tennessee.

Flag of the Army of New Mexico

Flag of the Army of New Mexico.

The Army of New Mexico, also known as the Sibley Brigade because of the commanding general, Henry Hopkins Sibley, was a Confederate army that participated in the New Mexico Campaign in which the Confederates attempted to take the northern part of the New Mexico Territory. The flag is a red variant of the Bonnie Blue Flag.

Flag of the Army of Tennessee

Flag of the Army of Tennessee.

This flag is similar to the flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, but instead of being square it’s rectangular. This army was the largest Confederate army in the Western Theater of the war and was commanded by Braxton Bragg, William Hardee, John Bell Hood, and Leonidas Polk.

First Naval Jack

First Naval Jack.

A naval jack is a flag that flies at the bow or front of a ship but only when the ship is in port, leaving, or entering. After the ship set sail the flag was removed so the crew could see better. This was the jack from 1861 to 1863. The seven stars would later be updated to 11 in late 1861.

Second Naval Jack

Second Naval Jack.

The second naval jack of the Confederate States was flown from 1863 to 1865 and is the exact same as the flag of the Army of Tennessee, a rectangular Battle Flag.

First Ensign

First Ensign.

Ensigns are flags flown at the stern of a ship and are used to identify a ship nationally. This was the first ensign of Southern ships and is the same as the 1st National Flag being flown from 1861 to 1863.

Second Ensign

Second Ensign.

This flag served as the second ensign of the Confederacy from 1863 to 1865 and is the same as the 2nd National Flag.

The Christmas Truce of 1914

A German soldier giving a British soldier a light to his cigarette during the truce.

Just five months into WWI in December 1914, unofficial truces and ceasefires were called by soldiers in the Western and Eastern fronts of the Great War. 

The first of these Christmas Truces was made a week before Christmas, during the stalemates of the First Battle of Ypres and Race to Sea, French and British soldiers met German men in no man’s land on the Western Front of WWI. During this first truce, soldiers sang carols, exchanged gifts, talked, and even played soccer with each other.

On the Eastern Front, Austro-Hungarian and Russian soldiers had a similar ceasefire. In some of these truces, the two sides would go recover bodies, have funerals for dead men, and exchange prisoners with each other.

During 1915, there were some short truces, not just during Christmas but also during the rest of the year. Sadly after the truces of 1914, unofficial ceasefires (not called by officials) were looked down upon by higher authorities and by 1916 you could be court-martialed for doing so.

Some commanders directly disobeyed orders from generals that threatened to punish them with death if they called a ceasefire with the enemy. This was because higher commanders didn’t want the enemy to be seen as human rather as a horrible evil that needed to be destroyed at all costs.

A monument to commemorate the Christmas Truce at Ypres Battlefield in France, showing a British and German soldier shaking hands over a soccer ball.

The Christmas Truce of 1914 was one of the only times in WWI when soldiers from seperate sides came together on neutral ground to fraternize, trade, and play games.          

History of the 20th Century: Part 2

This is part two of a series of blogs about the 20th century. This series will cover the events between the years 1914-1993. The start of WWI to the fall of communism. 

Click the year or conflict you want to go to and it will send you down to it. Also, click on any blue highlighted words to read more about it.

Years

Conflicts

Events

1922

This blog will cover the events between the years 1922 to 1930. The years between WWI and WWII (1918-1939) are known as the Interwar Years.

Throughout 1922 and the entire 20th century, communist revolutions and uprisings occurred throughout the world. This was partly because on April 3, 1922 Joseph Stalin became leader of Russia after the death of Vladimir Lennin, changing the official name of communist Russia from the Russian SFSR to the Soviet Union or Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). These communist rebellions were mostly between the current government in the country and the communist party, but sometimes they were fought between the communist party and another political party, like a fascist or democratic group. The rebels rarely won these revolts. Brazil, South Africa, the Weimar Republic, Bulgaria, and many more had failed communist revolts. The rebellion in Brazil lasted from 1922 until 1927, when the rebels were put down.

Flag of the USSR.

On March 12, 1922 Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan banned together and joined the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (SFSR). Georgia had joined the SFSR only after being invaded by the Soviet Union’s Red Army and the government overthrown.

Irish Civil War

Following the Irish War of Independence, the Irish had another war. This time is was between Irish who were for the treaty with the UK and those who were against it. This is called the Irish Civil War and it started June 28, 1922.

The IRA (Irish Republic Army) was against having the Anglo-Irish Treaty with the UK because in the treaty it stated that Ireland would be within the British Empire, but almost completely free to do as they pleased. They also thought it was a betrayal of the Irish Republic that had been proclaimed under the Easter Uprising, who were Irish who loathed the British and wanted no connection with them whatsoever, so they started a civil war to try to overthrow the pro-treaty Irish Provisional Government, which became known as the Free State in December 1922. The Provisional Government wanted peace with the UK and thought the treaty was fair. Many of the people, on both sides, had fought under the Old IRA during the Irish War of Independence. Many of the pro-treaty members of the IRA either left or were thrown out when the civil war began.

Flag of the Irish Free State (Provisional Government).

On April 14, members of the new IRA occupied buildings of the Irish Supreme Court (Four Courts). These members wanted to spark a new conflict with the British Empire. Some Provisional Government officials wanted to use force against them but others wanted to avoid a civil war as much as possible.

From April to June the rebels were left alone until the National Army bombarded the Four Courts until the IRA surrendered. The building was badly damaged and many of the archives were burned.

Other attacks and bombings occurred, but on May 24, 1923 the anti-treaty IRA surrendered to the pro-treaty Provisional Government.

March on Rome

On October 31, 1922 Bentino Mussolini became the 27th Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Italy after the March on Rome. The March on Rome was Mussolini’s mass demonstration during which Mussolini and his fascist “Blackshirts” marched through the city of Rome. Three days after the march, Mussolini was appointed the 27th Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Italy. During the march, the current Prime Minister, Luigi Facta, wished to declare a state of siege, but was overruled by King Victor Emmanuel III and appointed Mussolini as Prime Minister instead.

Mussolini along with other fascist Blackshirts march on the streets of Italy’s capital of Rome.

1923

Italian Pacification of Libya

Also known as the Italo-Senussi War the pacification of Libya was a long and bloody conflict between the Italian military against Libyan rebels known as the Senussi Order. The Senussi Order were a resistance to Italian colonization in Cyrenaica, currently Eastern Libya, under rebel leader Omar Mukhtar. During the conflict, the Italians, under Benito Mussolini, committed multiple war crimes including the use of chemical weapons, the execution of surrendering Libyans, and the killing of mass civilians. Concentration camps were also used for rebellious Libyans, who opposed the Italian occupation.

Libya had been part of the Ottoman Empire until the Turkish-Italo War in 1911 when Italy invaded Libya. The war ended in Italian victory, so Italy was able to keep Libya as its own colony. Up until 1923, the Libyans were able to relatively ignore the Italian control over the country, but when Omar Mukhtar staged a rebellion the Italians decided they needed to do something. Over 250,000 Libyans died during the “Pacification” between 1923 and 1932.

The war ended in Italian victory in 1932 and they executed of Omar Mukhtar and many of his followers.

Omar Mukhtar.

Beer Hall Putsch

Meanwhile in the German Weimar Republic on November 8, Hitler, some 20 Nazi Party members, and a detachment of 603 SA surrounded a beer hall in the city of Munich in the German state of Bavaria. In the hall a man named Gustav Ritter Von Kahr was making a speech. Kahr was a Bavarian socialist, who was against Adolf Hitler and his ideas. With his soldiers guarding the event from outside, Hitler made his way into the auditorium, jumped on a chair, and yelled, “The national revolution has begun! The hall is surrounded by 600 men. No one is allowed to leave!” He then said that the government of Bavaria was deposed and declared the formation of a new government. Then he ordered Kahr along with two other men at gunpoint to accept new government positions he had just assigned to them. They refused and were taken into custody by the Nazis.

During the night, units of Kampfbund (other Nazis) were wandering around the city, attempting to resupply themselves when a unit of Reichswehr (Barvarian police) spotted them. The Reichswehr were trying to get to nearby barracks when they had spotted the Nazis. They fired at each other without any fatalities. The Nazi Kampfbund retreated while the Reichswehr called reinforcements.

Members of the Nazi SA during the Putsch.

The next day Hitler realized the Putsch was going nowhere. He was about to call it off when a Nazi named Erich Ludendorff then shouted, “We will march!” so Hitler and 2,000 other Nazis and Sturmabteilung (SA) marched to the Feldherrnhalle, where they were confronted by German police. The police fired on the Nazis, which resulted in the death of 16 Nazi Party members and 4 police officers. Adolf Hitler was wounded, but escaped his arrest and fled to the countryside. Two days later, he was taken into custody and was charged with treason. He was found guilty and charged with five years in prison. During his time, he wrote a book about Nazi ideals and Germany’s future called Mein Kampt or My Struggle in German. After serving only six months, Hitler was released.

1924

Tatarbunary Uprising

On the 15 of September, Bolshevik-inspired Romanian rebels started an uprising in the Bessarabian city of Tatarbunary. Being pro-Russian the rebels called for an end to Romanian occupation of Bessariarabia and the creation of a new Moldovan Communist nation, a protectorate of the Soviet Union. The revolt lasted from September 15 to the 18. In the end the Romanian government prevailed, but resulted in the death of 3,000 people.  

Saudi Conquest of Hejaz

In the Arabian Peninsula the Kingdom of Hejaz and the Sultanate of Nejd were about to go to war. Hejaz contains the key Islamic cities of Mecca and Medina, the religious center for Islam, and most of the land that borders the Red Sea.

Flag of the Kingdom of Hejaz. This same flag was used by Arab revolutionaries during the Arab Revolt.

In 1916 during WWI, Hejaz had been a part of the Arab Revolt, a mass Arab rebellion led by the United Kingdom against their Ottoman oppressors. After the war the Kingdom of Hejaz achieved independence. Hejaz bordered a large Arabian country called the Sultanate of Nejd, modernly containing most of Saudi Arabia. Hejaz and Nejd had already fought between each other in the First Saudi-Hastemite War of 1919, but this conflict sparked because Saudi pilgrims were denied access to the Islamic holy land in the cities of Mecca and Media. On August 29, 1924 Saudi troops invaded the Kingdom of Hejaz. They advanced towards the city of Taif, which fell without any major struggle. Then Nejd turned toward Mecca. Hejaz appealed to the United Kingdom for aid, but they refused. Mecca fell with little resistance. The king of Hejaz had fled from Mecca to Jeddah before the city fell. Yanbu and Medina fell in December, 1925 and in January, 1926 Saudi troops entered the gates of Jeddah. Hejaz was united with Nejd after the city fell.

1925  

Kurdish Rebellions

To the north in the country of Turkey, the Kurds wished to be separate from Turkey and have their own country. In 1925, they had three rebellions: The Sheikh Rebellion, Raçkotan and Raman Pacifying Operations, and the Sason Rebellion. All three of these rebellions failed and the leaders of each were executed. The first two combined lasted not even a year, but the last rebellion lasted until 1937.

Zaraniq Rebellion

Not far from Turkey in Yemen, people from the Zaraniq tribe started an armed revolution against the Arabian country of Yemen.

At the time Yemen’s official name was the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen. Zaraniq was supported by the United Kingdom, who were still very instrumental in the Middle East. Zaraniq was also supported by the newly united country of Hejaz and Nejd.

Flag of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen.

The only fighting that occurred during the war was occasional raids by the Zaraniq. In 1929 the war ended with the Yemeni government emerging on top.    

Great Syrian Revolt

To the north of Yemen groups of Syrian rebels plotted to rid Syria of French rule, who had taken the land from the Ottomans after WWI.

Different types of Muslims and even Christians across Syria and Lebanon independently fought with one common goal: to rid the area of French rule. The revolt lasted from July 1925 to June 1927 with a total of 6,000 casualties. The French won the war and defeated the rebels.      

Sultan al-Atrash.jpg
A rebel leader celebrating the release of imprisoned revolutionaries.

1926

Northern Expedition

In the 1920s, the Beiyang Government was thought to be the legitimate government in China. Although claiming to be in control much of the country was ruled by different warlords. This era is called The Warlord Era. In July 1926, some different Chinese factions decided to put an end to the Beiyang Government. This was the Nationalist Government, which consisted of the National Revolutionary Army (NRA), Kuomintang (KMT), the Chinese Communist Part (CCP), and some allied warlord armies, who agreed to join with the revolutionary government if they won the war. Fighting took place in parts of Northern Manchuria all the way down to the border of French Indochina.

The war ended in December 1928 with a Nationalist victory. The Beiyang Government was overthrown and the warlords were defeated.

Beiyang soldiers retreating by train.

The communists had been thrown out of the alliance in April 1927 after communist labor unions took control of Shanghai and were defeated. After this point the CCP was angered, thus starting the long, bloody Chinese Civil War. 

1926 Communist Revolt in Indonesia

In June 1926 the Communist Party of Indonesia planned a overthrow of the Dutch government. It was quickly put down and around 20,000 revolutionaries were either interned, imprisoned, or arrested. 

Seal of the Communist Party of Indonesia

1927

More Kurdish Rebellions

In 1927, there were three more Kurdish rebellions, in the fairly new country of Turkey, that were all put down within the end of 1927. These were the Koçuşaği Rebellion, the Mutki Rebellion, and the Bicar Suppression.    

In 1929, there were also two more, the Asi Resul Rebellion and the Tenduruk Rebellion, which also ended in failure.

Chinese Civil War

In 1927, still during the Northern Expedition conflict, a 22 year conflict was about to begin between the Kuomintang (KMT) lead Republic of China and Chinese Communist Party (CCP). To make this easier I’ll split this into three parts. The first part will cover the years 1927-1930, the second will cover 1931-1937, and the third part will cover 1937-1949.

In early 1927, the KMT-CPC rivalry led to a split in the revolutionary ranks. The KMT moved the seat of the KMT government from Guangzhou to Wuhan. Guangzhou had a heavy communist influence whereas Wuhan was heavily nationalist. Also it’s important to emphasis that there were left-wing KMT, who were more socialist and didn’t like communism, and then right-wing KMT. Right and left KMT worked tried to work together, but it led to an unstable government. Wuhan was the seat of the left-wing KMT while Nanchang was the seat of the right. On August 1 of the same year the CCP launched an uprising in Nanchang against a KMT government based in Wuhan. This led to the creation of the Chinese Red Army. This rebellion was put down by August 8.

Leader of KMT Nationalist government Chiang Kai-shek in 1926 with the NRA during the Northern Expedition.

In September peasants led by Mao Zedong attempted an uprising known as the Autumn Harvest Uprising, but this was quickly put down.

The rest of the fighting until 1930 was the the KMT quelling small little CCP revolts led by anti-KMT left-wing and communist leaders.    

1928

Afghan Civil War

The Afghan Civil War was fought between the current government under King Amanullah Khan with Ali Ahmad Khan against the rebellious Saqqawists, who allied themselves with the anti-Russian/Soviet Basmachi and Shinwari tribe.

King Amanullah Khan had angered these Islamic nationalists because he was against radical Islam. He wished for women to have more rights and thought non-muslims should have equal rights in Afghanistan.

Flag of the Saqqwists.

The war began when the Shinwaris revolted in the city of Jalalabad in November 1928. Even though this revolt was quickly put down, it inspired the Saqqawists to rebel in Jabal al-Siraj before attacking Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul on December 14, 1928. This assault was stopped, but on January 17, 1929 the Saqqawists were successful in occupying the capital. After Kabul they headed east and beat back Ali Ahmad Khan’s army near Jalalabad.

In June a man known as Nadir Khan engaged a Saqqawist offensive in the north. The man that had been king prior to the revolution, Amanullah Khan, had fled the country leaving it up to Nadir Khan to stop the rebels. After a month of stalemate in the north, Nadir pushed them all the way back to Kabul. On October 13, 1929 the Afghan palace in Kabul, the Arg, was captured by Nadir’s forces. After the capture of the Arg the civil war is known to end even though Saqqwist activity continued until 1931. After the war Nadir Khan became the new king of Afghanistan and ruled until 1933.

Also, in December 1929, the Soviets entered Northern Afghanistan to wipe out the anti-Soviet Basmachi there, who had fought against them on several occasions on the Soviet-Afghan border and in Uzbekistan.

Nadir Khan.

 1929

1929 Stock Market Crash

The 1929 Stock Market Crash was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States. The 1920’s in America was a time of wealth and prosperity and is known as “The Roaring Twenties” because of this. This crash signaled the beginning of the Great Depression, an event which left many Americans in poverty until after WWII.  

1930

Sino-Tibetian War

The Sino-Tibetian War began when the Tibetian Army invaded China in a dispute over Buddhist monasteries. Although a three-year war, Chiang Kai-shek’s army overwhelmed Tibetian forces during the first year of the war. A ceasefire was being negotiated, but Tibet refused the conditions and the war continued for two more years. In 1932 the war ended, but it had changed nothing. Tibet still had the same land as before and the monasteries remained in Chinese control.