The Confederate flag in book cover design

I can’t decide whether to use the American civil war era Confederate flag on the book cover for a novel which is set in the civil war.
Probably the strongest argument in favour of it is that it is a visually powerful image, it is bright and colourful, like most national flags.
On second thoughts maybe I shouldn’t have used the expression ‘national flag,’ because the Confederacy might or might not have been a nation. depending on your point of view.
There are other reasons for either using or not using the Confederate flag on a book cover, but they are historical, social and political reasons.
Maybe I’ll look at these in a future article.
The point is, a visually powerful image like this is more is more likely to attract readers’ attention than a less powerful image.
A couple of novels that I’ve seen which are set in the American civil war use civil war era cannon as the main image for the book cover.
These aren’t visually powerful images, because they are a dull colour, usually black.
Obviously this is for historical and military reasons – they had to be black.
Maybe it doesn’t matter what the main image on a book cover looks like; maybe it’s a fallacy that a powerful image is more likely to attract readers’ attention than a ‘dull’ image, let’s call it.
Let’s face it, if you are searching for a book on one of the online book selling websites you don’t search for an image – you don’t search for a visually powerful image.
You search for the subject matter of the book.

Author: Paul Gresham

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