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Timeline-191, or Southern Victory Series (novel series)

Last modified: 2016-03-15 by peter hans van den muijzenberg
Keywords: how few remain | great war | confederate states of america | freedom party | canada |
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[Editor's note: There is no official name for the entire series of books]

How Few Remain is based on an alternate history in which the CSA won their independence as the result of some changed circumstances at the battle of Sharpsburg in 1862. How Few Remain is the prequel to a series of novels involving the two American federations and World War I.
Devereaux D. Cannon, Jr, 21 October 2000

The books are based on a timeline where the CSA did not lose the War of Secession (they won the battle of Sharpsburgh and were recognised by France and Great Britain). The series follow the lives of various characters (and their relatives later on) over a period that begins in 1881 then jumps to 1914 and onward to 1945 (or possibly beyond since there is still at least one book left) retelling the first and second world war with most of the famous events, battles and characters being given a North American twist.

The Author (Harry Turtledove) mix real lives entities (when they are Americans) with some placeholder ones when they could not have logicaly taken part. For example, in the later books, US General Irvin Morell is Rommel's counterpart and fight against General Patton (a confederate tank expert). The battle of Pittsburgh is highly similar to the battle of Saint Petersburgh and the CSA's Freedom Party is almost identical in organisation to the NSDAP down to the SA-like "Stalwarts" and SS-inspired "Freedom Party Guard". Some of the later organisation (the "Combat Wings") even end up going into battles late during the war wearing molted camouflage uniform (unlike the regular army's plain "butternut" combat tunics).
Marc Pasquin, 25 December 2006


The only (vague) description of the Canadian flag (pre-US occupation) is the following taking place 2 decades after the invasion (SA:RE p.45):

Mary could barely remember the mostly dark blue banner of the dominion of Canada.

I wonder what flag might be meant by that. It could be a reference to the colour seen at the edges of the Union Jack or it could be some sort of canadian blue ensign

It is quite possible on the other hand that in this timeline Canada began using its own emblems earlier on than *here* since they are said to have used a distinctive roundel during the first world War (GW:AF p.98):

He spied no other [canadian] aircraft with red maple leaf inside white circle inside blues.

If it is a distinctive one thought, I can't think of any historical ones that would fit save the "Pearson Penant" with darker blue bands (and even that's a stretch):

There was one flag proposal, shown on the CBC website, that consisted of a branch with 3 maple leaves in red fimibriated white centered on a dark blue background but since I had never seen it before (or since) in print, I doubt Turtledove would have either.
Marc Pasquin, 6 January 2007

Confederated States of America

[3 horizontal band red-white-red, blue canton with 16 white stars]
image by Marc Pasquin, based on the text, 25 December 2006

In this timeline, the late 19th and ealy 20th century CSA have a national flag, which is the "Stars and Bars" with its 3 bars of red/white/red and its circle of white stars on a blue canton. Since Confederate independence was secured in 1862, before the "Stars and Bars" was replaced as the CSA national flag, it makes sense that it would have continued as their national flag.
Devereaux D. Cannon, Jr, 21 October 2000

By the start of that world's first world war, the Confederate States have 16 states (the original 12 plus Sequoyah [our Oklahoma], Cuba, Sonora, and Chihuahua). However, as Kentucky is reconquered during that war, one presumes a star would be removed, but this is not mentioned.
Nik Taylor, 20 July 2002

In 1914, the flag is described this way:

(GW:AF p.22) "[...] Stars and bars like the sixteen-star banner above the post office [...]"

The exact number is not given afterward but because they lost some states later on, and so did the USA earlier in this timeline, one has to wonder if they ever have adopted some kind of official policy to remove stars.
Marc Pasquin, 25 December 2006

Battle Flag

[alternate USA]
image by Marc Pasquin, based on the cover art

[Editor's note: In no place in the text is the numder of stars for the Battle flag given.]

On the cover of the Baen Books's paperback edition of the book, there is a CSA flag which is like the flag nowadays usually considered to be the flag of the South, i.e. the rectangular battle flag – but it has only twelve stars (the one in the middle of the cross is missing).
Elias Granqvist, 19 October 2000

The CSA resulting from the historical changes made in the novel was a federation composed of 12 States (including Kentucky), plus the Indian Territory, now known as Oklahoma. In Turtledove's world , modern Oklahoma becomes the Confederate State of Sequoyah, which eventually adds a 13th star back to the flags of the CSA.

It is unclear whether the saltire battle flag, which is used as a military flag and a navy ensign, is the square pattern of the Army of Northern Virginia or the rectangular pattern of the Army of Tennessee. The cover art would seem to suggest the latter.
Devereaux D. Cannon, Jr, 21 October 2000

In battle, the CSA had used the confederate battle flag with which we are familiar. At the begining of the Great War, a parade by cavalrymen is mentioned (GW:AF p.22):

Some of [the crowd] waved Maltese-cross battle flags like the one that flapped at the head of the squadron [...]

Based on other books in the series, the battle flag is clearly the one we are familiar with but is "maltese" a common word for "saltire" in some part of the US *here* ?
Marc Pasquin, 25 December 2006

this is a mighty big conjecture, since I don't know the books very well, but...

If the CSA had 16 states, then the stars on the battle flag would be four per arm, with nothing in the centre. If you take a red fimbriated saltire on blue and remove the centre of the saltire, then through a figure/ground switch you get a blue fimbriated Maltese cross on red. Perhaps that is what is being implied.
James Dignan, 26 December 2006

I had exactly the same idea (though not as elaborated as James'), that the background behind a saltire may look like an erzatz cross (as here). This however is not a maltese cross, for the outer edges of the arms are not angled in, but rather a cross patty.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 26 December 2006

Naval Ensign

The naval ensign when first mentioned appears to be the same as *here* (GW:WIH p.388):

[...] the [CSA] naval ensign, which, like the Confederate battle flag on land, displayed St. Andrew's cross in blue on red.

However, a later comment would seem to make it a square flag (SA:TG p.170):

The Confederate naval ensign, a square version of the C.S. battle flag, completed the disguise.

On the other hand, it could be something like the second CSA national flag: a plain white ensign with a square CBF in canton.
Marc Pasquin, 25 December 2006

National Roundel

At one point during the Great war, the battle flag was adopted as a roundel (AE:TVO p.584):

Fighters and bombers with the C.S. battle flag on wings an tail [...]

Its not clear however is this a rectangular or square pattern.
Marc Pasquin, 25 December 2006

Freedom Party

"Freedom" Banner

[white field, 'FREEDOM' in red]
image by Marc Pasquin, 25 December 2006, Based on the text

A flag described in the earlier novels could have been the first attempt at a flag since it is never seen again in later novels:

(AE:BAI p.218): The men in the second rank bore white banners with FREEDOM printed on them with angry red letters [...].
(AE:BAI p.329): Some carried Freedom Party flags, others the confederate battle flag with reversed colors that the Party also used.
(AE:BAI p.349): [...] some Confederate banners, some C.S. battle flags with colors reversed, some white banners blazoned with the red word FREEDOM.

Since it is mentioned separate from the reversed CBF in the second quote, it would seem that the official "Freedom Party flag" (at least early on) was the plain white with red letters.
Marc Pasquin, 25 December 2006

Reverse Coloured Confederate Battle Flag

[reverse coloured confederate battle flag, 13 stars]
image by John Tate,
10 October 2005

Based on Civil War era flags

[reverse coloured confederate battle flag, 15 stars]
image by John Tate,
10 October 2005

Based on the cover
art of AE:TVO

[reverse coloured confederate battle flag, 16 stars]
image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg,
10 October 2005

Based on the highest number
of states mentioned

[reverse coloured confederate battle flag, 16 stars]
image by John Tate,
10 October 2005

Based on the highest number
of states mentioned

[reverse coloured confederate battle flag, 13 stars]
image by Marc Pasquin,
25 December 2006

Based on the text
and cover of SA:TG

I saw a book recently, one of Harry Turtledove's alternate history novels, set in the 1930ies. The dust cover shows (among other stuff) a flag design consisting of a red background with a blue swastika edged and starred white.

I'm not familiar with Turtledove's "universe", but (even if it does include an independent Confererate Sates of America, the real thing plus most of Texas, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Coahuila, Sonora and Chihuahua), I can't see any intimate connection between CSA and Nazi Germany (intimate enough to reach the flag, that is). AFAIK, in his alternate timeline the CSA are a poor country and Germany is more or less allied to the rump US (or not so rump, since it includes most English-speaking Canada).
António Martins-Tuválkin, 10 July 2002

I happen to have read these novels, and the cover illustration is based on the flag of the CSA Freedom Party — which, in Turtledove's universe, is a fascist movement that arises in the CSA after the nation's defeat in an alternate WW I. (The CSA, the UK and France fought the USA, Germany and Austria-Hungary.)

The Freedom Party flag is the Confederate Battle Flag with colors reversed: blue field, white-bordered red saltire with white stars. Turtledove notes, by the way, that the national flag of his alternate CSA is the Stars and Bars.

Despite the cover illustration, there is no hint in the novels that the swastika is actually an insignia of the Freedom Party.
Tom Gregg, 11 July 2002

I have attached the update of what the Freedom Party flag looks like from the The Victorious Opposition. At this time (approx 1930s), the CSA has fifteen states. (In this timeline, they still use the Stars-and-Bars as the national flag, but I believe the Freedom Party flag is always flown beside.)
John Tate, 8 January 2004

The 15 stars represent the 15 states of the CSA (their original 11 plus Kentucky, Sonora, Chihuahua, and Cuba – they had 16 before they lost Sequoyah, i.e. Oklahoma, in WWI). Like the Nazi flag with the German B-W-R tricolor, this flag is flown alongside the Stars and Bars.
John Tate, 1 December 2004

The flag you have for the Freedom party is incorrect. While the Confederacy lost Sequoyah, they never changed their flag. In fact, they were still adamant about reclaiming it. Unlike the USA flag, which is mentioned as changing a couple times in the series, the Confederate flag is never changed, and still has 16 stars.
"broadsword303", 24 September 2005

The number of stars on the Freedom Party flag is never explicity stated as far as I can remember, but that doesn't mean they never were.
John Tate, 10 October2005

The RCCBF (Reverse Colours Confederate Battle Flag) is decribed in many part of the books such as this one:

(AE:BAI p.218): [some had flags] that might have been Confederate battle flags save that they featured a red St. Andrew's cross on blue, not blue on red.
(AE:TVO p.2): [...] the Freedom Party flag, a Confederate battle flag with colors reversed: a star-belted red St. Andrew's cross on a blue field.

One last note regarding the CBF and RCCBF (Reverse Colours Confederate Battle Flag): the RCCBF is *always* described as a CBF with reversed colours without any mentions of the number of stars meaning they both are probably meant to have the same one. Combine with the fact that unlike the National Flag the number of stars is never mentioned on the CBF, I think that the CBF and RCCBF might both contain a fixed number of stars (probably 13 for traditional reasons). Also, because of the quote under the Naval ensign part above, it would also seem that, despite the illustration on some of the books covers, the RCCBF is rectangular. [See rightmost flag in gallery above.]

I could even understand why they kept a fixed number: having to repaint all the armed forces vehicles every time a new state is added would be a bother....
Marc Pasquin, 25 December 2006

Real life use of the Freedom Party flag

I saw a photo where it would seem that someone from the "white civil right movement" went ahead and decided that the reversed-coloured CBF from Harry turtledove's novel was a good design... Considering that the flag in question represent a Nazi-like organisation, this is not exactly giving me a good opinion of their objectives.
Marc Pasquin, 1 May 2004

Harry Turtledove did not "invent" this flag design for his Freedom Party. He borrowed it from the variant of the Army of Northern Virginia battle flag used by regiments of the Confederate army west of the Mississippi River.

An image of it can be seen here and an explanation can be read here.
Devereaux Cannon, 16 September 2005

Sources quoted