This week 150 years ago, the election of 1860 was heating up. Several weeks prior, the reader may note the presence of the Everett/Bell Flag in Searcy. A November 1, 1860 Arkansas newspaper makes note that four poles were raised as far south as El Dorado, Arkansas; one for each of the politicians that were supported by South Arkansans.
1860 Arkansas saw the design and manufacture of many and varied flags, whether they be political flags, militia flags, or other flags for varied occasions. Today, creating a flag is as simple as creating a design and having it either embroidered or screen printed. However, during the 1860’s, a flag must be carefully hand-stitched and hand-embroidered. Thus, the creation of a “unique and expressive” flag was quite the chore.
One reason for the increase in flag making can be seen in the fact that 1860 America, whether North or South, saw the election of 1860 as the most important election of their lifetimes.
[LITTLE ROCK] OLD-LINE DEMOCRAT, November 1, 1860
Col. E. A. Warren made a most eloquent and effective speech at Eldorado on the 15th inst., where during the week there were four poles raised, one for Breckinridge, one for Bell, one for Douglas and one for HOUSTON and CHANDLER, which last named the Camden Eagle says, was “unique and expressive.”
“The ‘lone star’ twinkled in one corner, the inscription in the middle and below stood the old hero of San Jacinto pointing at the coon which was approaching him, while his associate was after him with a “sharp stick.” The new ticket had many warm supporters, in consequence of an able speech made by the distinguished candidate for the Vice Presidency.—His fame, already great, was greatly added to on this occasion.