| In the spring of 1866 the Ladies Memorial Association of Columbus, Georgia passed a resolution to set aside one day annually to memorialize the Confederate dead. Additionally, the secretary of the association, Mrs. Charles J. (Mary Ann) Williams was directed to author a letter inviting the ladies in every Southern state to join them in the observance. Therefore, Confederate Memorial Day became an official holiday and/or observance day in the U.S. South as a day to honor those who died fighting for the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. Eleven states officially observe Confederate Memorial Day: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. North Carolina observes the Confederate Memorial Day on May 10th, which is the date of the death of Confederate General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson in 1863 and the capture of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in 1865.
In 1868, General John A. Logan, who was the commander in chief of the Union Civil War Veterans Fraternity called the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), launched the Memorial Day holiday that is currently observed in the entire United States and is celebrated on the final Monday of May. According to General Logan's wife, he emulated the practices of the Confederate Memorial Day. She wrote that Logan said “it was not too late for the Union men of the nation to follow the example of the people of the South in perpetuating the memory of their friends who had died for the cause they thought just and right.”
The Bonnie Blue Flag was an unofficial banner of the Confederate States of America at the start of the American Civil War in 1861. It consists of a single, five-pointed white star on a blue field. It closely resembles the flag of the short-lived Republic of West Florida of 1810.
When the state of Mississippi seceded from the Union in January 1861, a flag bearing a single white star on a blue field was flown from the capitol dome. Harry Macarthy helped popularize this flag as a symbol of the Confederacy by writing the words to the popular song "The Bonnie Blue Flag" early in 1861. Some seceding southern states incorporated the motif of a white star on a blue field into new state flags.
In 2007 one of six known Bonnie Blue flags from the Civil War era was sold at auction for $47,800. The flag had been carried by the Confederate 3rd Texas Cavalry and later exhibited as part of the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition.
In the 1936 novel by Margaret Mitchell and the 1939 film Gone with the Wind, Rhett Butler nicknames his newborn daughter "Bonnie Blue Butler" after Melanie Wilkes remarks that her eyes will be "as blue as the bonnie blue flag."