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For a few months in 1861, hundreds of communities in the South staged flag presentation ceremonies to send their men off to war. These ceremonies were attended by hundreds and sometimes thousands of white Southerners, and narratives of the ceremonies circulated widely in Southern newspapers. The ceremonies themselves consisted of a several speeches by local notables and presentation of a flag made by the elite women of the community. This article argues that flag presentations resulted from a distinct lack of commitment among most Southern men to the Confederacy early in the Civil War, and sees the ceremonies as coercive rituals designed to force men into the army before conscription solved the Confederacy's recruitment problem.