Florida's Secession flag
               Florida Secedes from the Union

                                      01-10 -1861

In early January 1861, a special convention of delegates from around the
state met in Tallahassee to consider whether Florida should leave the Union.
Governor Madison Starke Perry and Governor-elect John Milton were both
strong supporters of secession. For days, the issues were debated inside and
outside the convention. In a minority opinion, former territorial governor
Richard Keith Call, acting as a private citizen, argued that secession would
bring only ruin to the state.

On January 10, 1861, the delegates voted sixty-two to seven to withdraw
Florida from the Union. The next day, in a public ceremony on the east steps
of the capitol, they signed a formal Ordinance of Secession. News of the
event generally led to local celebrations. Later, the delegates adopted a new
state constitution. Florida was the third state to leave the Union, and within a
month it joined with other southern states to form the Confederate States of
America.




                         
Ordinance of Secession.


We, the People of the State of Florida in Convention assembled, do solemnly
ordain, publish and declare: That the State of Florida hereby withdraws
herself from the Confederacy of States existing under the name of the United
States of America, and from the existing Government of said States; and that
all political connection between her and the Government of said States ought
to be and the same is hereby totally annulled, and said union of States
dissolved; and the State of Florida is hereby declared a Sovereign and
Independent Nation; and that all ordinances heretofore adopted in so far as
they create or recognize said Union are rescinded; and all laws or parts of
laws in force in this State, in so far as they recognize or assent to said Union
be and they are hereby repealed.

Done in open Convention, January 10th, A.D. 1861


(Collections of the Museum of Florida History)

                          
 Florida's Secession Flag










Helen Broward, of Broward's Neck in Duval County, and other southern
women who supported the secessionist cause made and presented this flag
to Florida Governor Madison S. Perry. It was unfurled by Governor-elect John
Milton on the east porch of the state capitol when the delegates signed
Florida's Ordinance of Secession on January 11, 1861. The three large stars
represent the first three states to leave the Union: South Carolina, Mississippi,
and Florida. The flag's motto, "The Rights of the South at All Hazards!",
echoes the uncompromising position of southern supporters on the eve of the
Civil War. The banner reportedly hung above the speaker's desk in the
Florida House of Representatives throughout the war.

At the war's end, the banner still hung in the capitol and reportedly was taken
as a trophy by a Union army officer during the postwar occupation of the
building. It is recorded that this officer later felt guilty about taking the banner
and gave it to a Mrs. Hasson, the wife of a military doctor, to return it to the
state. The Hassons moved to the western U.S. shortly after this incident. It
was not until 1911 that Mrs. Hasson sent the flag to a Florida member of the
United Daughters of the Confederacy, who then returned it to the State of
Florida.