This drawing of the capture of the CSS Fanny’s flag at the battle of Elizabeth City shows 9 stars, which is highly unlikely. She was commissioned after 1 October 1861. There were 12 Confederate states at that time.
The above drawing was created from the drawing shown below. The drawing below was drawn by an artist that was on the scene. Notice there are 8 stars with 7 in a circle around the eighth. Again, this is the wrong number of stars for the time of her commissioning. Could this flag have originally been on another ship?
The CSS Ellis’ flag was captured during the battle of Elizabeth City as well. This layout – 12 stars in 3 horizonal rows – was a very rare design, seen most often among the ships stationed in northeastern North Carolina.
The CSS Curlew flag (seen below) is extremely rare. Like the Ellis flag, it has 9 stars arranged in horizonal rows. Flags with 9 stars were only authorized between 18 May 1861 and 21 May 1861, when the 9th (Arkansas) and 10th (NC) states were admitted. The Curlew was not commissioned until late September 1861. Was her flag from another ship?.
Flag Officer Lynch created a flag for his tiny fleet. It looked like a French tri-color with 11 stars on the blue field in the shape of a Latin cross. The flag shown below is probably that of the CSS Sea Bird, captured at the battle of Elizabeth City. The CSS Beaufort flew a similar flag.