During the Civil War, partisans clearly displayed their emotions on the colorful covers known as 'patriotics'—envelopes decorated with flags, portraits, slogans, cartoons, and battle scenes. The custom originated in the North, where printers found that envelopes boasting these picturesque designs were immensely popular.
The South lacked the North's industrialized advantages and was short of supplies, so Confederate patriotics are very rare and highly valued. The most common designs were flags with stars representing the number of states in the Confederacy at the time. Specific designs can be rare, such as the 9-star flag design, but most flag designs are more common than other types of designs. Many covers included slogans and verses as well.