The Confederate Flag
Fig. 2-6: The flag on the far bank is the First National Flag of the
Confederacy (The Stars and Bars).
There are two flags in the painting, both look to be U.S. flags at first glance. The flag on the far embankment however is the First National Flag of the Confederacy (The Stars and Bars) (2.17). It was used by the Confederate States of America from March 5, 1861 until May 26th, 1863 when it was replaced by the Second National Flag of the Confederacy. This may give some indication as to the time period when Watching the Shot was first conceived by Homer (Fig. 2-6). Art historians agree that ample evidence points to a second major battle scene in the works between 1863 and 1865. Watching the Shot fits comfortably within the Winslow Homer historical record.