This 10-by-20 foot tattered storm flag flew over Fort Sumter during the bombardment of April 12-13, 1861. On the second day, a Confederate projectile shattered the flagstaff causing members of the Federal garrison to rush onto the parade ground, amid exploding shells and burning timbers, to retrieve the fallen flag. They carried it to the ramparts where it was hastily nailed to a wooden pole and re-raised. The tiny nail holes are still visible along the flag's left border.
Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard permitted Major Anderson take this flag with him when the Federal forces evacuated Fort Sumter on April 14, 1861. It and the fort's garrison flag were taken to New York City and displayed in a patriotic demonstration in Union Square. Both flags remained in the Anderson family until 1905 when they were presented to the War Department. They were transferred to the National Park Service in 1954.