The Military Order of the Stars and Bars is a fraternal organization for documented descendants of men who served as commissioned officers in the armed forces of the Confederate States of America or who are descended from members of the Confederate Congress, or any elected or appointed member of the Executive Branch of the Confederate Government. Membership is open to males, aged 12 or older, who are direct or collateral descendants of Confederate Officers who served honorably in the Confederate military, elected or appointed civilian officials of the individual Confederate States, officials of the Confederate National government, and officials of the Five Civilized Tribes that allied with the Confederacy. Its headquarters is in White House, Tennessee. Members may join local chapters as well as state societies or be a national at-large member.
Founded in 1938 in Columbia, South Carolina, during the Great Depression, it is the only active heritage organization created by Confederate veterans. The first meeting was convened by 17 former Confederate officers, with 47 male descendants of Confederate officers in attendance. They voted to begin a new CSA veterans society, with a commitment to hold annual meetings, and chose the name of the "Order of the Stars & Bars". The OSB was unique in its understanding that as the original Confederate officers died, their male descendants had to carry on the purposes of the order.
In 1976 the organization changed its name to "The Military Order of the Stars & Bars" at the 39th General Convention held in Memphis, Tennessee. They adopted the Confederate battle flag (the square "Southern Cross" incorporated into the second and third National Flags of the Confederate States of America, not to be confused with the "Stars and Bars" adopted as the first national flag) as the official insignia of the order. The leader would be called the commander general of the Military Order of the Stars and Bars.
Today the fraternal Military Order of the Stars and Bars is a non-profit 501(c) 3, non-political educational, historical, patriotic, and heritage group that is dedicated to preserving Southern history. It has added programs to recognize outstanding contributions in the fields of American history, as well as the fine arts that emphasize Southern culture.
It offers college scholarships and awards for the study and communication of Confederate and American history. It awards literary prizes to authors and publishing houses, and recognizes journalists who practice ethical reporting of local and Southern history. It erects monuments to the memory of the CSA soldiers. The organization emphasizes American patriotism and the honoring of all American military veterans of all wars. The order emphasizes family and tradition, and encourages its membership to preserve their family's Confederate history for posterity.
- Confederate States of America cemeteries
- Confederate States of America monuments and memorials
- Sons of Confederate Veterans
- United Daughters of the Confederacy
- Grand Army of the Republic
- Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
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