Flags as symbols
Engravings of Virginia Capitol in Daily Richmond Enquirer, April 17, 20, 26, 1861
Even without reading the newspaper, people who saw the Daily Richmond Enquirer, edited and published by Nathaniel Tyler, Obadiah Jennings Wise, and William B. Allegre, could see visible evidence of the rapidly changing status of Virginia in April 1861. During the winter and spring of the secession crisis, the second page of the newspaper, which carried the editorials, featured a small engraving of the Capitol of Virginia with flags of the United States of America flying from poles on the north and south ends of the roof gable. Two days after the Virginia Convention voted in favor of secession on April 17, the editors removed the image from the paper and on the third day replaced it with a new version of the same engraving showing bare flag poles. Beginning on April 26, 1861, the engraving of the Capitol showed a Virginia state flag flying from the pole at the north end of the gable and the flag of the new Confederate States of America flying from the pole at the south end. On April 30, 1861, the Virginia Convention officially created the state flag of Virginia, which had been informally in use for decades.