The Bonnie Blue Flag

Harry McCarthy - 1861

This was written by Harry McCarthy, an Irishman who was an entertainer in his adopted home in the South. He wrote the words to celebrate South Carolina's secession from the Union in early 1861. South Carolina had adopted a flag which was blue with one white star. For a short time it was the flag of the Confederacy. McCarthy set his song to the tune of The Irish Jaunting Car. It was sung to soldiers at New Orleans and became an instant hit. It was one of a couple of "unofficial anthems" of the Confederate States of America. By the way, the "property" mentioned in the first verse is slaves. Later versions of this song changed the word to "liberty," to be less obvious and support the notion that the war was about states' rights.

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