Last modified: 2012-02-17 by marc pasquin
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 Oct 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 jump 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 Dec 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
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.
by Marc Pasquin, based on the text, 25 Dec 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
Devereaux D. Cannon, Jr , 21 Oct 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 Jul 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.
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 Oct 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 Oct 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* ?
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 Dec 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 Dec 2006
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.
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.
by Marc Pasquin, 25 Dec 2006, Based on the text
(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 separataly then 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.
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 Jul 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 Jul 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 Jan 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 Dec 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 (Anonymous poster), 24 Sep 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 Oct 2005
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
I found this photo
and 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 Sep 2005
Anything below this line was not added by the editor of this page.