What is now often called "The Confederate Flag" or "The Confederate Battle Flag" (actually a combination of the battle flag's colors with the Second Navy Jack's design), despite its never having historically represented the CSA as a nation, has become a widely recognized symbol of the South. It is also called the "rebel", "Southern Cross, or "Dixie" flag, and is often incorrectly referred to as the "Stars and Bars" (the actual "Stars and Bars" is the First National Flag, which used an entirely different design).
During the first half of the 20th century the Confederate flag enjoyed renewed popularity. During World War II some U.S. military units with Southern nicknames, or made up largely of Southerners, made the flag their unofficial emblem. The USS Columbia (CL-56) flew a Confederate Navy Ensign as a battle flag throughout combat in the South Pacific in World War II. This was done in honor of the ship's namesake, the capital city of South Carolina, the first state to secede from the Union. Some soldiers carried Confederate flags into battle. After the Battle of Okinawa a Confederate flag was raised over Shuri Castle by a Marine from the self-styled "Rebel Company" (Company A of the 5th Marine Regiment). It was visible for miles and was taken down after three days on the orders of General Simon B. Buckner, Jr. (son of Confederate General Simon Buckner), who stated that it was inappropriate as "Americans from all over are involved in this battle". It was replaced with the flag of the United States.
The use of the flag by soldiers came under investigation after some African-American soldiers filed complaints. By the end of World War II, the use of the Confederate flag in the military was rare. However, the Confederate flag continues to be flown in an unofficial manner by many soldiers. It was seen many times in Korea, Vietnam, and in the Middle East.