Southern Cross of Honor
The Southern Cross of Honor, in the form of a cross pattée (cross with triangular arms) is suspended from a metal bar with space for engraving; this space, on this example, is engraved as follows: “EHM + 3 CAL”. We are not aware of the meaning of this engraving or the name associated with this medal. The obverse of the medal exhibits the motto of the Confederate States, DEO VINDICE ([With] God [As Our] Vindicator) and the dates 1861 1865, surrounded by a laurel wreath. The arms of the cross bear the inscription SOUTHERN CROSS OF HONOR. The reverse side shows the Confederate battle flag, in relief, in the center, surrounded by a wreath, with the raised inscription “UNITED DAUGHTERS [of the] CONFEDERACY TO THE U. C. V. “(the UCV is the United Confederate Veterans), on the four arms of the cross. On the reverse side of the name plate is the raised inscription: “PATENTED / CHARLES W. CRANKSHAW / ATLANTA”. The notes that are written on the front and back of an accompanying piece of lined paper were with the medal when we obtained it; the paper was inside a small box containing the medal. This example is fine condition.
Southern Crosses of Honor were only distributed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy; they could not be purchased. The medals were given in recognition of loyal, honorable service to the Confederacy and only Confederate veterans could wear them. Although no Civil War veterans are still living, the last verified Confederate veteran dying in 1951, Virginia Code section 18.2-176(b) remains in effect and makes it a Class 3 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than US$500, to “wear any Southern Cross of Honor when not entitled to do so by the regulations under which such Crosses of Honor are given.”