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The Lost Cause

Third National Flag

Third National flag of the Confederacy

Established Mar 4, 1865.


The confusion and dividing loyalties remained in Kentucky after 1865. In the decades after the war, various Southerns attempted to memorialize and romanticize the Confederacy. This movement came to be known as the Lost Cause. Activism sprang up throughout the former Confederate states. Kentucky became an exception to this trend. The Lost Cause attempted to restore honor and remove the stain of slavery from the Southern memory. Kentucky held an interest in ridding the state of negative slavery connections. White women held a unique place in remaking the image of the South. Middle and upper class feminine standard deemed women non-political. Not soldiers or politicians, Southern women avoided the label of treason and could memorialize the Confederacy without as much fear of retribution from the government. Kentucky women did not have the right to vote and held few legal rights. The Lost Cause permitted women to become activists while remaining acceptable to society. Lastly, women lost husbands, brothers, and fathers on the battlefields. The Lost Cause channeled women’s morning and remembrance of the dead.  Kentucky women found purpose and power within the Lost Cause movement.